Friday, July 9, 2010
Regime's populist riposte to bazaar strike: 'Merchants sell rugs adorned with pictures of Angelina Jolie and half-naked women'
The regime has long depended on the support of the bazaar and the current unrest which was triggered by reports of a 70% tax hike and has spread to at least two other cities, Tabriz and Khorramshahr, has provoked concern in the government. Rug merchants, along with gold, home appliance, shoe and textile traders, have played a central role in organizing the strikes.
The author of the piece bemoaned the fact that in most stores in Tehran's rug bazaar 'there were wall carpets bearing half-bare women and girls, and the faces of [Indian superstar] Aishwarya Rai, Angelina Jolie, Nicole Kidman, and some Iranian actresses were more prominently displayed than [traditional rug designs].' But there were more sinister signs of moral decay, according to Jahan News. 'Regretfully, master rug weavers, who in the old days would not sit before their looms before performing ablution, now weave pictures of skulls and swastikas of Satanist groups into Iranian carpets. And even more regretfully, the bulk of rug traders' orders to weavers consists of vulgar pictures of women in various poses.'
Jahan News did not publish any photos of rugs with Hollywood stars or Satanic symbols in its article.
Jahan News expressed anger at an alleged CD of designs that rug traders gave to weavers. The CD, according to Jahan, contains designs of Koranic verses and holy cities such as Mecca and Medina along with 'designs of bare women and girls and famous vulgar Bollywood and Hollywood actresses.' Perhaps a digital curtain should have been placed between the sacred and the 'vulgar.'
The editors of the Jahan site took this opportunity to take a jab at the Cultural Heritage Organization. Though the organization is not mentioned in the piece, the title of the post was preceded by the line 'The Cultural Heritage Organization is asleep.'