Getting a haircut in Tehran (archive photo)
Photo: AFP
Iranian women (archive photo)
Photo: Reuters

Iran cracks down on 'Western' hairdos

Tehran barbers' association head says police issued directive forbidding its members from giving men offbeat hairstyles; report says Telecommunications Ministry to start filtering ‘immoral’ video, audio messages sent via mobile phones

Tehran's barbers are to stop offering Iranian men unconventional Western hairstyles amid a nationwide crackdown on dressing deemed to be un-Islamic, the Etemad newspaper reported.


The paper quoted the head of the Tehran barbers' association as saying police had issued a directive forbidding its members from giving men offbeat hairstyles that are all the rage in more affluent parts of the capital.


"Currently some salons use Western grooming methods to create styles that are in line with the European and American ones," said the association's head, Mohammad Eftekhari-Fard.


"The union has repeatedly announced the restrictions against unconventional grooming when issuing permits to each of the barber shops. Hence barbers, knowing these rules, should not pursue the wrong methods," he warned.


"The union will withdraw its support from those barbers who cut hairstyles that are out of line with the norms of the system," he said.


Eftekhari-Fard did not specify which hairstyles were being targeted, but conservatives in Iran have long been upset by the heavy use of styling gel, shoulder-length hair and the spiky "big hair" styles sported by some of Tehran's young males.


'To prevent immoral actions and social problems'

The directive also banned the use of "facial cosmetics, plucking of eyebrows and applying special make-up in male salons," he said.


Over the past week Iranian authorities have handed out thousands of warnings to women found to have infringed Islamic dress rules.


State television reported on Saturday that Iran's Telecommunications Ministry will start filtering "immoral" video and audio messages sent via mobile phones.


The Supreme Council of the Cultural Revolution, a body set up after Iran's 1979 Islamic revolution, has instructed the ministry to buy the equipment needed to prevent any misuse of Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS), it said.


MMS allows users to send multimedia messages that include images, video and audio.


"In order to prevent possible misuse of MMS, immoral actions and social problems, the Telecommunications Ministry will filter immoral MMS," the television said.


It did not give details of the techniques it would use to filter such messages, when it would start or how it would define "immoral" messages.


פרסום ראשון: 04.29.07, 20:51
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