Iranian cleric ‘blames quakes on promiscuous women’

April 20, 2010

There’s always someone around who knows what God wants, and how God feels, and what we need to do so as not to “disappoint God.” Seems like there are more of them in Islam than among hard-shell Baptists, or the most intolerant fundamentalist Christians. More so than among worshipers of “science,” even! 🙂

And hard-shell Muslims, like hard-shell fundamentalists of all sorts, may be relied upon to fear sexual energies and, therefore, fear the young women through whom they are transmitted. (For some reason, these people never seem to consider sexual energies a natural part of mammalian life that has to be managed to prevent chaos; instead it is so often seen as evil.)

So, anyway, this news report from the BBC, whose accuracy I am willing to presume, shouldn’t be a surprise. Islhttp://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/8631775.stm

But my reactions to the cleric’s statements (again, assuming they have been accurately reported) may not be what you would expect.

1) Yes, they are one more argument for separation of church and state. You don’t want this kind of mind devising your society’s boundaries. But

2) the guys upstairs have said that imbalance in psychic energy has to express either in man-caused disruptions (wars, terrorist incidents, riots, whatever) or in natural disasters (volcanoes, earthquakes, droughts, etc.) So I can’t mock this cleric’s assumption that the consequences of our actions (including what we might call our mental actions) may include earthquakes. But

3) neither you nor I nor Muhammad can know what God thinks, wants, needs from us, anymore than one of us can tell what God is. All we can do is our best; that’s a long way from saying that our best is good enough. As the guys told me, and I have often repeated, in trying to understand what God is and what the afterlife etc. really is, we are in the position of a fish at the bottom of the ocean, trying to envision a man on a hill watching television. A little humility is always in order, when you’re tempted to tell people what to do in order not to “disappoint” God. But of course the kind of person who is inclined to tell other people what to do is not usually particularly attracted to the virtue of humility!

Promiscuous women are responsible for earthquakes, a senior Iranian cleric has said.

Hojatoleslam Kazem Sedighi told worshippers in Tehran last Friday that they had to stick to strict codes of modesty to protect themselves.

“Many women who do not dress modestly lead young men astray and spread adultery in society which increases earthquakes,” he said.

Tens of thousands of people have died in Iran earthquakes in the last decade.

Mr Sedighi was delivering a sermon on the need for a “general repentance” by Iranians.

“What can we do to avoid being buried under the rubble? There is no other solution but to take refuge in religion and to adapt our lives to Islam’s moral codes,” he said.

‘Disappoint God’

Young Iranians sometimes push the boundaries of how they can dress, showing hair under their headscarves or wearing tight fitting clothes.

Mr Sedighi also referred to violence following last year’s elections, which occurred when thousands of – mostly young – Iranians protested against the result, as a “political earthquake”.

“Now if a natural earthquake hits Tehran, no one will be able to confront such a calamity but God’s power, only God’s power. So lets not disappoint God.”

More than 25,000 people died when a powerful earthquake hit the ancient town of Bam in 2003.

Seismologists have warned that the Iranian capital Tehran is situated on a large number of tectonic fault lines and could be hit by a devastating quake soon.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said many of Tehran’s 12 million inhabitants should relocate.

There are plans to build a purpose-built new capital near Qom.

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