Thursday, 8 September 2016

Iran’s mullahs are banning use of the word wine and names of foreign animals in books


In Persian lyric poetry “you can hardly find a sonnet that does not contain the wine, the bard and the beloved.”

Hafiz, for example, was a 14th-century Persian poet who “lauded the joys of love and wine but also targeted religious hypocrisy.” Here for example:

Even though, to pious, drinking wine is a sin,
Don't judge me; I use it as a bleach to wash the color of hypocrisy away.
All that laughing and weeping of lovers must be coming from some other place;
Here, all night I sing with my winecup and then moan for You all day.
If someone were to ask Hafiz, "Why do you spend all your time sitting in
The Winehouse door?," to this man I would say, "From there, standing,
I can see both the Path and the Way.

And here:

Reason bids the poet drink wine …
the wind exhorts the poet to sing of wine and sweet-mouthed beauties.

Persian literature is drenched with wine, so too was the culture. The very word Shiraz comes from Persia, “the city of poets, literature, wine and flowers.”

But Persia’s Iranian mullahs are affronted by all this. They want it stopped. They are now banning use of the word wine and names of foreign animals in books.

The new rules are designed [say the mullahs] to protect Iranians from what the regime calls a “cultural onslaught” by the West.

But you will still be able to write and sing about killing Jews. Bet on it.

[Hat tip Vinay Kolhatkar, John Kannarr]


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