Even though I grew up among Islamists, their allergy to public viewing of women’s bodies never ceases to amuse me. Case in point: they couldn’t even cover the Oscars without inserting a lie.
Fars, which is affiliated to the Islamic republic’s elite Revolutionary Guards, redesigned the US first lady’s dress so that it covered her chest and shoulders in a picture showing her announcing that Argo had won best picture, via a video link from the White House.
Rules dictate that Iranian women shown on Iran’s state television should have a hijab that covers their hair, arms and legs. The length of the censor’s ruler varies for foreigners. A foreign woman travelling inside the Islamic republic should comply with the same restriction on Iranian women, but those shown on TV, such as dignitaries or actors, are tolerated without the hijab, up to a point.
When Iranian media are obliged to use a picture that contravenes these rules, it is not unusual for Photoshop to come to their rescue. Many foreign dignitaries and celebrities have fallen victim to the Islamic republic’s censorship regime, including the EU’s foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton.
When showing foreign films, state TV censors can go as far as editing the film frame by frame in order to cover up actors or delete them from a scene.
It is appropriate to point out, though, that Islam did not invent misogyny; rather, it inherited it from earlier Middle Eastern traditions, some of which have made their mark in New York:
Jews can be misogynists too.