Seminary Students Shun Mullah-Wear

Qom: December 4, 2018

A dress code and morality official at Qom Seminary, the largest Shia seminary in Iran, has warned students that if they don’t conform to the type of clothing traditionally worn by the clergy, they could lose benefits such as tuition fees and housing assistance.

Isa Taghizadeh said that seminary students seem less disposed toward wearing religious garb in public. “A main reason might be the change in society’s attitude,” he said.

A number of religious authorities have also warned against the significant number of seminary students who prefer to appear in public wearing suits instead of robes and turbans. “A lot of people study at the seminary but do not wear turban,” said Grand Ayatollah Jafar Sobhani, a former member of the Society of Seminary Teachers of Qom and a current member of the Assembly of Experts. “But it is not proper for a clergyman to wear a suit…A clergyman must always be turbaned.”



Sistan and Baluchistan: the Capital of School Dropouts

Zahedan: December 4, 2018

Among Iran’s 31 provinces, Sistan and Baluchistan holds the record for school dropouts, with girls dropping out at a higher rate than boys. According to Hasan Nowruzi, the head of the province’s Department of Education, of the 143,000 school-age children and adolescents who dropped out of school in the last four years, more than 80 percent, or 120,000, were in Sistan and Baluchistan. The majority of dropouts, he said, were girls because of being forced into early marriage or because their families prevent them from continuing their education for various “cultural reasons.” Boys drop out, he said, because they go out to work, or because they live in villages and must travel long distances to go to school.

Alim Yar-Mohammadi, Zahedan’s representative to the parliament, said this drop-out rate had very serious implications. “Enemy and terrorist groups are lying in wait for uneducated and illiterate individuals,” he said.


University Screens Movie Under Bright Lights to Avoid Trouble

Arak: December 3, 2018

A university has taken precaution when screening a film to a mixed-gender audience, keeping the lights on to avoid any controversy. The movie Woodpecker, directed by Behrouz Shoeibi, was screened at an auditorium at Arak University. Photographs shared on social media show the students watching the movie in a brightly-lit auditorium.

Many sharing the story on social media have been highly critical. Mahmoud Razavi, the movie’s producer, asked the university to apologize. He also tweeted that the movie had been screened without permission and, therefore, it was “a cultural robbery and the promotion of robbery by an educational institution.” And Manijeh Hekmat, a movie director, wrote that the university was behaving “like the Taliban.”


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