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August 31, 2015 / 16 Elul, 5775
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Move Over, Simpsons

Buddha Statues Join Barbie Dolls in Iran’s ‘Cultural Circumcision’

First it was Barbie dolls. Then it was the Simpsons, another Western “evil.” Now, Iran defends itself against the wicked East and bans Buddha statues.
Buddha joins Barbie on Iran's ban of foreign evils.

Buddha joins Barbie on Iran's ban of foreign evils.
Photo Credit: Jewish Press montage

Iran has followed up on its ban of wicked Western influences, such as Barbie dolls and the Simpsons, by adding Far Eastern Buddha statues to its list of foreign evils.

The Iranian-based Arman daily quoted Saeed Jaberi Ansari, who helps protect Iran’s “cultural heritage,” as saying the items are part of a “cultural invasion.”

Dr. Alireza Nourizadeh, the director of the Center for Arab & Iranian Studies in London, criticized the ban as nothing more than “circumcised art,” according to the Saudi-based Al Arabiya website.

“Art is not an area the regime will succeed fighting against,” he said. “This has nothing to do with not allowing sculptures or artworks in the country – like some Islamic countries. Iran does have its film and theater festivals, but it’s what you can call ‘circumcised’ arts.”

The Simpsons were banned last year to defend the Islamic Republic against Western culture, but the Iranian regime reasoned that Spiderman and Superman were permissible because they help the “oppressed.”

Stretching the ban to the Far East’s Buddha statues won’t work, according to  Dr. Nourizadeh.

“Artistic circles will speak out; Iranian intellectuals will respond sharply,” he explained.

However, Ansari, the defender of culture, reportedly said that the “cleansing” would continue to prevent the promotion of a specific belief.

“The regime believes Iranian citizens, particularly the youth, are being corrupted by the West, foreign entities, imperialists, Zionists, you name it which encourages young people to leave Islamic values and Khomeini’s values,” he said.

Buddha statues are used more as ornaments than they are for religious practices in Iran, which officially guarantees the rights of non-Muslims.

About the Author: Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu is a graduate in journalism and economics from The George Washington University. He has worked as a cub reporter in rural Virginia and as senior copy editor for major Canadian metropolitan dailies. Tzvi wrote for Arutz Sheva for several years before joining the Jewish Press.


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One Response to “Buddha Statues Join Barbie Dolls in Iran’s ‘Cultural Circumcision’”

  1. Tim Upham says:

    The Buddhists do not worship Buddha. Buddhism does not center around deities, it is morals, ethics, and philosophies. Having a statue of Buddha just commemorates the founder. The demonic figures associated with Buddhist societies, such as Tibet, are figures from Shamanism, that predates Buddhism. Having a statue of Buddha is no different than Christians having a picture of Jesus Christ. Belief in the Easter Bunny comes from Anglo-Saxon paganism, before Christianity. It is just that there is an ancient Muslim hatred towards Buddhists, because they always considered them as idol worshippers. But female mutilation predates Islam, and it is still practiced in Egypt and Yemen.

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