Iran Declares War on Barbie
Iran’s toy market is being inundated by models of Barbie, Batman, Spiderman and Harry Potter and the young must be protected from their harmful cultural effects, the prosecutor general was quoted as saying on Sunday.
“Promoting figures like Barbie, Batman, Spiderman and Harry Potter and the uncontrolled import of CDs of video games and films should alarm all the country’s officials,” Ghorban Ali Dori Najafabadi was quoted as saying by the student ISNA news agency.
“We need to find substitutes to ward off this onslaught, which aims at children and young people whose personality is in the process of being formed,” he added.
Dori Najafabadi’s comments came in a letter to an Iranian vice president, urging measures to protect “Islamic culture and revolutionary values”.
While officials regularly lambast Western culture for polluting the minds of the public, Western toys have become a regular and popular feature on the shelves of toy shops in Iran in recent years.
Affluent Iranian parents are known for indulging their children and the purchase of such toys has become for many an obligatory treat.
But Dori Najafabadi said: “These toys, which do not respect the required norms, present dangers for the health of children and affect the survival of toy factories in this country.”
Two years ago, police raided toy shops to put black stickers on the packaging of Barbie dolls to hide their bodies. In public in Iran, women must cover all bodily contours, a rule that Barbie conspicuously fails to obey.
Ayatollah Ghorbanali Dorri-Najafabadi was previously the Minister of Intelligence of Islamic Republic of Iran. During his term of ministership, some journalists and reformist politicians were murdered by security agents.
Now it’s Barbie’s turn.