August 06, 2007

Rock the Casbah


From FOX News: Iran Arrests 230 Youths Attending 'Satanic' Rock Concert.

Iran arrested more than 200 music fans at an underground rock concert that one official called a "satanic" gathering and authorities accused the youths of breaking Islamic law. A witness said Sunday that police raided the concert as it was ending late Wednesday near the town of Karaj, some 30 miles west of the capital.

"Police detained the young people who had gathered to enjoy music in a private orchard," said the witness, who requested anonymity for fear of government retaliation.

The arrests come during a recent crack down on "immoral behavior" in Iran, where holding mixed parties or concerts without permission has been forbidden since the 1979 Revolution that brought hardline Shiite Muslim clerics to power.

Calls to authorities were not immediately returned on Sunday. But the public prosecutor in Karaj, Ali Farhadi, said Saturday about 230 people were arrested during the concert.

"Most of them were wealthy young people who were not aware of the satanic nature of the concert," Farhadi told state television. "A female singer, who was performing, and some rock and rap music bands were among the detained." ...

Boys and girls mingled and danced together during the concert, and some of the women were not wearing the modest clothing and Islamic headscarf required by law, media reports said.
Concert organizers were not available for comment.

More on the title: Wikipedia: "Rock the Casbah" by The Clash.

The song was inspired by the banning of rock music in Iran under Ayatollah Khomeini. The song gives a fabulist account of the ban being defied by the population, who proceed to "rock the casbah". The King orders jet fighters to bomb any people in violation of the ban. The pilots ignore the orders, and instead play rock music on their cockpit radios.

UPDATE -- Aug. 8: From The Wall Street Journal: Domestic Terror in Iran by Amir Taheri. (via Banafsheh Zand-Bonazzi)

The campaign of terror also includes targeted "disappearances" designed to neutralize trade union leaders, student activists, journalists and even mullahs opposed to the regime. According to the latest tally, more than 30 people have "disappeared" since the start of the new Iranian year on March 21. To intimidate the population, the authorities also have carried out mass arrests on spurious grounds.

According to Gen. Ismail Muqaddam, commander of the Islamic Police, a total of 430,000 men and women have been arrested on charges related to drug use since April. A further 4,209 men and women, mostly aged between 15 and 30, have been arrested for "hooliganism" in Tehran alone. The largest number of arrests, totaling almost a million men and women according to Mr. Muqaddam, were related to the enforcement of the new Islamic Dress Code, passed by the Islamic Majlis (parliament) in May 2006.

Most of those arrested, he says, spent a few hours, or at most a few days, in custody as "a warning." By last week, 40,000 were still in prison. Of these, 20,363 men and women are held on charges related to violating the Islamic Dress Code. According to the Deputy Chief of Police Gen. Hussein Zulfiqari, an additional 6,204 men and women are in prison on charges of "sexual proximity" without being married.

Posted by Forkum at August 6, 2007 03:09 PM