Prez attacked on dress code.
Motahari, the loudest critic of the president in the Majlis, suggested Ahmadi-nejad should now move to open "nightclubs" in the Islamic Republic, since he is supposedly loose on social issues.
Fars news agency quoted Motahari as saying that the president's alleged lax views on the Islamic dress code had allowed women, directly and indirectly, to dress in a way promoting "sexual provocation."
"The situation of the veil is tragic,... thanks to apparent and hidden encouragement by the president," Fars quoted Motahari as saying.
Ahmadi-nejad and his chief of staff, Esfandiar Rahim-Mashai, have promoted a situation in which girls now "wear trousers, and coats that don't cover the knees," Motahari said. "They have actually allowed sexual provocation... Now they should think of opening night-clubs and cabarets," he said sarcastically.
Motahari's comments recalled the attacks on Abraham Lincoln for his opposition to slavery, with opponents saying that meant he was for all sorts of race mingling. Lincoln responded, "That I do not wish a black woman to be my slave does not mean that I want her to be my spouse."
In the recent Majlis elections, Motahari led his own slate of conservatives against two other conservative slates. His slate did not do well in the first round. He made an open appeal for reformist votes. In the second round, he united his slate with the reformists, but still did poorly, although he himself was re-elected easily. His harsh stand on the dress code, however, will likely end all hopes of an alliance with the reformists.
Ahmadi-nejad has often dismissed the regime's intense concern for the dress code. In 2005, at his first news conference after his election, he was asked if he would enforce the code more stringently. He responded cuttingly, "I have more important things to do." The president has also advocated allowing women to attend soccer games, which has infuriated the clergy. He has opposed efforts to segregate college classrooms by gender. And he was caught on film kissing the hand of his aged first-grade teacher, to the utter disgust of the conservative establishment.
Iran's so-called morality police have launched a crack-down in recent weeks on women deemed clad in "un-Islamic" attire. The crackdown is part of an annual spring campaign before the heat of summer, when women try to shed some of their mandatory clothing.
The operations see police screening foot and vehicle traffic at major junctions and shopping centers, and lead to fines and even arrests.
Several conservative deputies criticized Motahari's extreme comments and demonstrated their intolerance for spoken words with which they disagree. One, Mohammad Esmail Kosari, called on the Judiciary to take up the issue and hold the lawmaker to account.
"The statements by Motahari are immoral," raged Hamid-Reza Fouladgar, deputy for Esfahan.
The Fars news agency, which is close to the conservatives, accused Motahari of playing games with "counter-revolutionary media," thus portraying an ultra-rightist position as foreign-inspired, and not just liberal positions.
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|Publication:||Iran Times International (Washington, DC)|
|Date:||May 25, 2012|
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