Iran enforcing Barbie ban

2012-01-16 15:33

Tehran - Iran's morality police are cracking down on the sale of Barbie dolls to protect the public from what they see as pernicious western culture eroding Islamic values, shopkeepers said on Monday.

As the West imposes the toughest ever sanctions on Iran and tensions rise over its nuclear programme, inside the country the Barbie ban is part of what the government calls a "soft war" against decadent cultural influences.

"About three weeks ago they (the morality police) came to our shop, asking us to remove all the Barbies," said a shopkeeper in a toy shop in northern Tehran.

Iran's religious rulers first declared Barbie, made by US company Mattel Inc, un-Islamic in 1996, citing its "destructive cultural and social consequences". Despite the ban, the doll has until recently been openly on sale in Tehran shops.

The new order, issued around three weeks ago, forced shopkeepers to hide the leggy, busty blonde behind other toys as a way of meeting popular demand for the dolls while avoiding being closed down by the police.

Dolls in traditional dress

A range of officially approved dolls launched in 2002 to counter demand for Barbie have not proven successful, merchants told Reuters.

The dolls named Sara, a female, and Dara, a male arrived in shops wearing a variety of traditional dress, with Sara fully respecting the rule that all women in Iran must obey in public, of covering their hair and wearing loose-fitting clothes.

"My daughter prefers Barbies. She says Sara and Dara are ugly and fat," said Farnaz , a 38-year-old mother, adding that she could not find Barbie cartoon DVDs as she was told they were also banned from public sale.

Pointing to a doll covered in a black long veil, a 40-year-old Tehran toy shop manager said: "We still sell Barbies but secretly and put these [the Sara and Dara dolls] in the window to make the police think we are just selling these kinds of dolls."

Toy versions of US spy drone

Iran has fought a running battle to purge pervasive western culture from the country since its Islamic revolution overthrew a western-backed king in 1979, enforcing Islamic dress codes, banning Western music and foreign satellite television.

As another swipe at the West, Iranians will soon be able to buy toy versions of the US spy drone that it captured in December, Iranian media reported.

Models of the bat-wing RQ-170 Sentinel - which Iran's military displayed on TV after it was downed near the Afghan border - will be mass produced in a variety of colours, reports said.

  • malibho - 2012-01-16 15:41

    Never mind the Islamic perspective. Barbies effect on the way young girls percieved themselves are well documented. This kind of pressure on young girls should have been addressed a long time ago.

      Anthony - 2012-01-16 17:59

      Yes, I know a few women in their thirties, who played with Barbies when they were young. They turned out must see the clothes they wear!!!! And their hair !!!!! And than their husbands.......they are all copies of Ken !!! It is so so sad. Just to think, that their lives could have been so much more meaningful, if they would have has the morality police in their youths. What a wasted lives!!!! Wink,wink !!!!!!!

  • GrootWitHaai - 2012-01-16 15:46

    Iranian leaders are victims of their own insular Muslim upbringing. This country is heading the way of Afghanistan. Talk about cutting off your nose to spite your face. This is simply the Iranian way of tit for tat against the West because of more looming economic sanctions against them. One can only feel sorry for the Iranian people who are being affected by their insane leaders.

  • justin.pretorius - 2012-01-16 16:05

    I feel for the Iranian people who are living under this regime. One day there will be an Arab Spring for Iran

  • Werner - 2012-01-16 16:06

    hahaha, the only thing the "religion of peace" countries know how to build is fires to burn bibles and Western-made products. The Batwing toys will be made in China. Doesnt really matter if they have a drone and can replicate it, the software on the other side is still the more expensive commodity

  • Hermann - 2012-01-16 16:15

    Who are they to speak of Islamic values. They are not the only Islams in the world. It is similar to Dan Roodt speaking of Afrikaner values. What is clear is that their islamic values happen to be values of oppression.

  • ISO - 2012-01-16 16:40

    Those who dont like barbie, please relocate to Iran!

  • ISO - 2012-01-16 17:01

    So i guess Ken is still safe.....

      Warwick - 2012-01-17 09:06

      Only if he has a beard.

  • peter.roelofsz - 2012-01-16 17:03

    Go Barbie!

  • goyougoodthing - 2012-01-16 17:11

    Not far off banning porn which is on a paid for closed network. What is the difference and yet I bet most people think this law is madness.

      Jaba - 2012-01-17 08:14

      A child’s toy from the 60's is not porn. One can have a sexual connotation for any object if they want. Its time to come out of the Stone Age.

  • allcoveredinNinjas - 2012-01-17 08:26

    Ban, ban, ban ,ban , ban , ban ..... treating the population like children who can't handle the sight of a barbie doll.

  • Warwick - 2012-01-17 09:06

    Islamic vulues, what a joke. This from a country that hangs homosexuals in public while the men practice "bhaku bazi" (google this) with little boys. That murdered its own citizens in their thousands a few months ago in a protest march for freedom from these madmen. That cuts off peoples limbs for offences. That force woman into as strict conservastive dress code and beats them in public for violating said dress coe. HA HA HA to their values.

  • Abdul Muharabu - 2015-05-04 20:15

    Even america won't change what Iran stand on that's all,or comments on Iran decision won't stop them what they already decide,those guys are strictly concern when dey say no to unlawfull around them,so or comment are just useless rather keep calm and which d video, der is no Muslim country which can allow evel worshiper stiles unless those countries in which america has taken for granted and plant his horrible western culture, but no Muslim country allow nonsences ,u people grew up knowing that ,what u are thought by or parents its d rite way,but all are rubbish compare to Islam law.

  • Abdul Muharabu - 2015-05-04 20:24

    Iran is another country, which u shouldn't compare to this your facktup country,,, ask america will give u full info about Iran, Iran is capable to squash any country in this world ,,any ,,any,,they are the masters of atomic nuclear bombs,, didn't u know it was few minutes Iran nearly wipe off Israel from d world map,,but america negociated and Iran stopped,,Iran is not Soweto and is not your Obama for full info about Iran. Do u think Iran is like Afghanistan Iraq,Libya,don't play with Iran those guys are actors to nonstop actions.

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