Iran bans showing half-naked men on TV

Published: September 14, 2011

Iran has banned programs showing half-naked men, love triangles, chefs cooking western dishes.

TEHRAN: Iran has banned TV programs showing half-naked men and love triangles, the semi-official Fars news agency reported on Monday, in the latest sign of a conservative crackdown on media in the Islamic state.

It was not clear what prompted the ban — Iran TV, which has a monopoly in the country, dedicates large parts of its schedule to religious shows and announcements from the government.

But viewers were gripped a few years ago by a locally-produced soap opera called Forbidden Fruit which told the tale of an old man who decided to leave his wife after falling in love with a young girl.

“Based on a new instruction, the broadcasting of programs that show tempting love triangles is banned,” Fars said.

Exceptions would be made for shows that explicitly condemned such entanglements, it added.

“Showing half-naked men in Iranian and foreign productions is also banned,” the report said, adding that producers were urged not to show “unnecessary mingling” between the sexes.

The statement did not say how the restrictions on partially-clothed men would affect Iran TV’s sports coverage.

Since the 1979 revolution brought strict Islamic law to Iran, TV shows and films have had to comply with religious values by avoiding scenes that show intimate relations between men and women or flout Islamic dress codes for women.

The restrictions have pushed many Iranians to turn to illegal satellite channels for uncensored entertainment and international news.

Iran outlawed satellite dishes in the mid-1990s, saying it wanted to curb what it called Western efforts to corrupt its population through the spread of immoral programs.

The ban was largely ignored under President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s predecessor Mohammad Khatami who tried to increase social freedoms after he was elected in 1997.

But hard-liners pressed for renewed restrictions after Ahmadinejad took office in 2005 and Iranian police launched a new crackdown on satellite dishes earlier this year.

Iran’s hardline rulers often accuse the United States and other Western countries of seeking to overthrow clerical rule through a “soft” or “velvet” revolution with the help of intellectuals, websites and satellite channels.

Earlier this year, local media reported Iran had also banned programs showing how to cook western dishes.

Reader Comments (40)

  • zaid hamid
    Sep 14, 2011 - 2:42PM

    The days of western hegemony in media is gone.

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  • zaid hamid
    Sep 14, 2011 - 2:42PM

    The days of western hegemony in media are gone.

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  • Sep 14, 2011 - 2:50PM

    what on earth are half naked men doing on Iranian tv :)

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  • Noor ul haq
    Sep 14, 2011 - 3:03PM

    It is really a very much good step taken by the Iranian Government. Nowadays it is very much distracting, shameful act to watch news on a television screen with your family members not to talk of soap operas or other televised program, which you can’t watch due to the vulgarity in the these shows. People call modesty a menace and vulgarity is regarded as freedom of press and promoted. What is the need of the hour is to ban all this vulgarity if not in one go but it should be banned fully. People at the helm of affairs should take a queue from this,rather understand this point that this vulgarity is destroying our young generation who are our future.Let not only the governments,but be it the directors, editors, producers who share the responsibility to draft out the programs, take a strong step to nip this evil from the bud.What if the model is fully covered;what if the news caster is in Islamic dress;what if we will not allow naked or semi naked advertisements? Can’t our economy grow? Can this be then called as ban on freedom of expression. Let’s make it clear that Modesty is modesty and Vulgarity is vulgarity. Let’s not regard modesty as ban and vulgarity as freedom or change the meanings of each other.

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  • A suhail
    Sep 14, 2011 - 3:03PM

    Mullahs and their perverse thinking. Only mullahs will divide foods between western and islamic dishes.

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  • Noor ul haq
    Sep 14, 2011 - 3:05PM

    It is really a very much good step taken by the Iranian Government. Nowadays it is very much distracting, shameful act to watch news on a television screen with your family members not to talk of soap operas or other televised program, which you can’t watch due to the vulgarity in the these shows. People call modesty a menace and vulgarity is regarded as freedom of press and promoted. What is the need of the hour is to ban all this vulgarity if not in one go but it should be banned fully. People at the helm of affairs should take a queue from this,rather understand this point that this vulgarity is destroying our young generation who are our future.Let not only the governments,but be it the directors, editors, producers who share the responsibility to draft out the programs, take a strong step to nip this evil from the bud.What if the model is fully covered;what if the news caster is in Islamic dress;what if we will not allow naked or semi naked advertisements? Can’t our economy grow? Can this be then called as ban on freedom of expression. Let’s make it clear that Modesty is modesty and Vulgarity is vulgarity. Let’s not regard modesty as ban and vulgarity as freedom or change the meanings of each other.Recommend

  • murassa sanaullah
    Sep 14, 2011 - 3:09PM

    howcome muslims in western countries are still muslims though they watch all such unislamic things.

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  • Sep 14, 2011 - 3:11PM

    We need similar laws in Pakistan to avoid indian shirk

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  • Sep 14, 2011 - 3:11PM

    Iranians are afraid of gayism… :)

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  • Cautious
    Sep 14, 2011 - 3:39PM

    Classic example of why you don’t let Mullah’s run a country — they will have a never ending list of things they want to control to insure your a good Muslim — does anyone really believe that watching a chef cook western food makes you more holy?

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  • Capricorn
    Sep 14, 2011 - 4:09PM

    In my opinion the reasons this articles quote for banning the TV programs seem pretty true. We Muslims are moving towards secularism which is completely prohibited by Islam. In Pakistan, people tend to imitate western culture very fast and we all know what western culture brings.

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  • Itsjustme
    Sep 14, 2011 - 4:11PM

    I have lived 35 years in an Arab Country. Their ban on ‘sex & violence’ prevented something like Rambo II to be banned her, because of the huge body count (by way of sex, they had only one kiss in the movie). If you watched a hindi movie, a vulgar scene would be replaced by two moving flowers (lol) and the scenes with indian Gods were straight cut out, whether on cinema, local TV or the copies of video-stores. Life was simple, sex and violence were outlawed, children obeyed parents, wore decent clothes and generally, life was good.

    Then came dish TV; Zee, Ch [V], Mtv, Sony… before you knew it, your houses were invaded by uncensored programs, images of dieties of other beliefs and music videos that were more catchy to watch than to listen, because… you got it, everything for semi- to full- nudity. This was not family viewing material and PG was just a joke because when the parents are the away, the children will play. Children knew things they had no business knowing at their tender age, clothings changed from decent to grunge/nude/sexy/crazy… i cant think of one word to describe it… children got to taking bad habit early, disrespected/defied their elders in ways previously not seen and life as we knew it ceased to exist.

    Life as we now see is exactly as was told in the Signs of the End Times, children are out of parents’ control, young pregnancies and eloping from home with lovers has increased, our way of life is not our way anymore, it has become exactly as the western media indoctrinated us…

    By the way, the 90s copyright law introduced in thsi region also gave way to original movies being sold on VCD/DVD in the country. Now go pick up a copy of Little Children, The Reader or any Kate Winslet movie and you will see that tghe softer version of pornography is openly sold for 20 dinars in big malls.

    I dont see one reason why i should condemn Iran for banning half-naked men and love-triangles on TV… people watch TV with family and not having such images on TV only means you get to see men with full clothes (which I imagine is so against the grain of Islam and you liberals, isnt it?) and what is a love triangle if not a threesome? Does it not mean two men and one woman or one man and two women? I’m confused…..

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  • Noman
    Sep 14, 2011 - 4:58PM

    Islam is not only a religion but a complete constitution for a “Islamic republic”, i don’t understand how come people think social values have nothing to do with religion.

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  • aliz
    Sep 14, 2011 - 5:24PM

    @Zeeshan Mahmood:
    where this gayism came from in this article. its seems that you…

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  • K
    Sep 14, 2011 - 6:03PM

    To the moral brigade: Why are you so afraid and fearful of human bodies? Religion really does make people shut off their reasoning faculties. Why is the major focus of religiously-inclined people on only outer aspect of morality a la nudity and sexuality, and not on values such as compassion, empathy, pursuit of knowledge, justice, honesty. I realize that it is not an either/or scenario, but it does make me wonder.

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  • Paras Vikmani
    Sep 14, 2011 - 7:23PM

    God bless Iranis from these fundamental government.

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  • Reeba
    Sep 14, 2011 - 7:44PM

    Teaching moral values to someone should not be by using the see no evil, hear no evil policy. They should be taught how to avoid temptation even if they see it or hear it. A good example is Saudi Arabia. The government tries to eliminate all images or acts which are considered detrimental to Islam. But once the Saudi citizens get out of Saudi, you know what they do. It is human nature to be curious to see and do things which are prohibited. The more suppressed a society is, the more perverted its members become.
    You might think the westerners have loose morals. But in a western society, a woman can wear any dress she likes, and go anywhere she likes without fear. In a conservative muslim country, women needs to cover her body and need a body guard. Does this mean that western men can be trusted and muslim men cannot be trusted? If a woman doesn’t feel safe to go out with out covering her entire body or need a body guard, it says a lot about the men in that society. Why are muslims living in a western country feels independant, and can still practice their religion the way they like and be good muslims? This is because they learned to resist temptations they see around them. The morals and values they learned from their family and the holy Quran guided them to become a good muslim.

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  • Sep 14, 2011 - 7:56PM

    So no sumo wresting and WWF then?

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  • Amira
    Sep 14, 2011 - 7:58PM

    I lived in Iran for more than three years and I can assure you that the society is absolutely rotten due to the double standards existing there. This is a result of the hypocrisy the people are subjected to by the Mullah regime of Iran. Pakistan is well on its way to become like that as there are so many people brandishing the sword of Islam without actually knowing what they are talking about or reflecting about the true spirit of Islam.

    Besides, please explain to me why the “evil” Western societies are more Islamic in their values than the real ones should be, even though people there are frequently exposed to “obscenities”. Or are corruption, selfishness, disregard of the law, disrespect of life and property, etc. etc. more common in the West than in e. g. Pakistan?

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  • Cautious
    Sep 14, 2011 - 8:57PM

    Iran is Pakistan in 10 years — run by religious elite — no freedom of speech — no free press — and Mullahs trying to control media/internet and every component of your life. Oh yeah — you will be under international sanctions and considered a pariah to boot.

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  • Infidel Humanist
    Sep 14, 2011 - 10:24PM

    @Cautious:
    More power to the mullahs, I say. I hope they continue to ratchet up the oppression and keep making life more and more unbearable. Until one day …

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  • Abdul Rehman Gilani
    Sep 14, 2011 - 11:03PM

    Good move by Iran. Only liberals are displeased. But its good having a laugh at their comments.

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  • Kaliram
    Sep 14, 2011 - 11:52PM

    I fully support Iran govt move. We need something similar in India. Half-naked men are disgusting.

    But if India govt bans half-naked women, I will go on hunger strike a la Hazare. Good looking half-naked women are heavenly – I will fight for my right to see them even if it means dying in the process. Wait a minute – Isn’t that why jihadi suicide bombers blow themselves up? So that they can get 72 Virgin -Naked women in heaven?

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  • MD
    Sep 15, 2011 - 1:59AM

    To protect the chastity of Iranian women, Iran should also ban showing beardless men on TV.

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  • Itsjustme
    Sep 15, 2011 - 10:15AM

    @kaliram….
    LOL…. good one….
    By the way, Jihadi’s blow themselves up due some misguided sense of sacrifice put in their minds by politics-driven mullahs, who have nothing to do with Islam, whatsoever. As for the 72 virgins, no one told me they were supposed to be naked… and being a Muslim, I am sure I have learnt more about it than you….
    So, please limit your comments to what you know about and had good knowledge of, dont share your ignorance with everyone in the room…Recommend

  • Itsjustme
    Sep 15, 2011 - 10:21AM

    @Reeba,
    I agree with you, forced religion can only make hypocrites… Saudi is not the only example, so are Iranians, covered well in Iran, a little more naked than the westerners outside… or, do you not remember in Afghanistan, when the Taliban forced people to keep beards and as soon as they were overthrown, beards were insulted on live TV by these people who shaved them and filled the streets with them…
    Forced religion does not make Muslims, it makes hypocrites… you ought to have the love of God and Prophet in your heart, as the Tablighi Jamaat says, if you have the love of the prophet in yoru heart, it will come out externally automatically, meaning, you will grow a beard when you are ready for it… and you will not find it a burden to keep…Recommend

  • Furqan
    Sep 15, 2011 - 12:16PM

    @Reeba:
    I think you need to go through the fact on women safe in western countries, USA has the highest number of rape cases in the world, and in other western countries you hardly see any women wearing a mini skirt and walking down the street after dark its because there are a lot of chances of her being raped, you should also visit the U.K websites to see the number woman being raped after dark.

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  • Reeba
    Sep 15, 2011 - 5:00PM

    @ Furqan

    Most rape cases in muslim countries go unreported and Sharia law doesnot help women to prove their case. If you think western women get raped because they dress in miniskirts and go out in the dark, here is the analysis from a study.
    “Contrary to widespread belief, rape outdoors is rare. Over two thirds of all rapes occur in someone’s home. 30.9% occur in the perpetrators’ homes, 26.6% in the victims’ homes and 10.1% in homes shared by the victim and perpetrator. 7.2% occur at parties, 7.2% in vehicles, 3.6% outdoors and 2.2% in bars.”
    Reference: Abbey, A., BeShears, R., Clinton-Sherrod, A. M., & McAuslan, P. (2004). Similarities and differences in women’s sexual assault experiences based on tactics used by the perpetrator”Psychology of Women Quarterly, 28, 323-332.”

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  • Rsingh
    Sep 15, 2011 - 8:37PM

    Its time now even men should be made wear hijab.

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  • Faction
    Sep 15, 2011 - 9:23PM

    @Reeba: You are using facts and logical reasoning in your response to Furqan. Don’t you know that these are unknown concepts?

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  • rikky
    Sep 15, 2011 - 11:03PM

    i think iran will be 1st islamic country in future who will introduce burkha for man.

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  • Waqar
    Sep 16, 2011 - 1:43AM

    @Rsingh:
    The hijab of modesty for men is the lowering of the gaze.

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  • Zebedee
    Sep 16, 2011 - 2:30AM

    You ain’t seen nothing! As a kid growing up in a multicultural society of one of the sprawling cities of the UK, television was a great form of entertainment for us back in the seventies. I have great memories of watching children’s TV programs such as Tiswas, Swap Shop, Bagpuss, Magic roundabout and many more. The programs were ‘oh so innocent’ and fun to watch without a hint of moral depravity. Then in year 2000, I heard about one of my favorite child presenters of my childhood years, hosting a new game show. To my utter shock and disbelief, the presenter and his contestants were in total nudity, brazingly displaying their full frontal genitalia.

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  • Sep 16, 2011 - 5:24AM

    Great news, now Iran should ban boxing and wrestling! Down with Nudity! Up with Mullahism! Pakistani Mullahs should now take a lead and support burkahs for men also!

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  • furqan
    Sep 16, 2011 - 11:07AM

    @Reeba:
    First of all you said “Most rape cases in muslim countries go unreported and Sharia law does not help women to prove their case.”well do you have proof?, that because of this there are more rape victims here?This is the problem when people just speak on assumptions to negate ISLAM.I guess you should also know that there are also many rapes which are not reported in the western countries.because they are scared to do so. That is why when there is a rapist arrested after that many woman come forward that they were rapes also.and this is in regular news if you think i’m saying it from myself.
    I think you should also analyse the stats you have mentioned:30.9% occur in the perpetrators(most possible kidnapped from the street or club or anywhere), 10.1% in homes shared by the victim and perpetrator(UnIslamic woman living with a non-mahram and maybe wearing half clad at times)7.2% occur at parties (Understood mainly because of clothes to attract men), 7.2% in vehicles (can be clothes once again), 3.6% outdoors(clothes most likely once again) and 2.2% in bars(same clothes, attraction most likely again) so this % equals to; 61.2 % which is the majority. Oh yes and there is 12.2% missing from this report so this is out of 87.8 % which would be around 80% i guess then. And also don’t know how authentic this report is. And just one more thing by the way, if a man sees girl in attractive sexy clothes she is most likely to arouse a man rather than a one all covered. and this is fact.

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  • F.ALI
    Sep 16, 2011 - 8:09PM

    @Zaid Hamid: mate we don’t want want such laws,if ur so hungry abt them why don’t u go and live in iran.

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  • John B
    Sep 16, 2011 - 9:49PM

    Judging from the comments here it seems people in PAK agree with the ban. If that is the case, then it won’t be too long before PAK also go in this direction.

    All Television sets come with a remote control and it has a channel changing switch and power switch. If you do not like the program change the channel or switch of the TV. Simple.

    Very sad to see the decline of the Persian civilization in the name of religion. It was exactly the case with Mogul empire once the theocratIc Aurangzeb took over and destroyed Akbar’s well managed kingdom.

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  • Amira
    Sep 16, 2011 - 10:28PM

    @furqan:
    Just one question: Have you ever actually been to a Western country or did you get your profound knowledge from propaganda only?

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  • sajid
    Sep 20, 2011 - 4:37PM

    I think this is t0tally Islamic decisi0n, appreciatable:)))))

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  • Nobody
    Sep 26, 2011 - 4:50AM

    @furqan
    Rape has nothing to do with sex man, it’s about power and violence. No decent, respectable guy is going to turn into a beast and rape a woman just because she wasn’t dressed modestly and he simply couldn’t control himself. (??????) What a RIDICULOUS notion. There’s a difference between a wild animal and a man, although you don’t seem to think so judging by some of your words. Being aroused is one thing, rape is another. And your response to Reeba’s stats is borderline silly, I’ve lived in the US my whole life and most of the rapes here are perpretrated by an acquaintance or a boyfriend/partner/husband, not a stranger who kidnapped you, or simply couldn’t control himself because a woman was scantily clad. I’m surprised at the number of people who still think rape is just about sex or the result of an uncontrollable sexual urge.

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