Is It Illegal For Women To Dance In Iran

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The Colombian dance-based Zumba practice has spread around the world, as demonstrated in this Zumba class in Manila, Philippines.

Is It Illegal For Women To Dance In Iran

Iran banned women from dancing, cycling, watching football matches, listening to certain music, and now Zumba.

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This is true. Leaders of the Shiite Islamic Republic announced this week that the 17-year-old Colombian’s passion for dance aerobics is forbidden by religious law.

Iran’s head of general sports, Ali Majadara, issued a statement on Sunday banning “Zumba and any form of fitness movement or body movement instruction.” The ban applies to gyms, clubs and public and private classes. The announcement came days after Majadara caused a stir on Twitter calling for the Iranian sport to be banned altogether by the federation.

Critics also expressed concern and dismay on Twitter, using the Persian hashtag #Zumba. “Has Colombia already summoned the Iranian ambassador?” one Twitter user joked.

“Any harmonious movement or rhythmic exercise, if it seeks pleasure, is haram,” forbidden according to the interpretation of Shiite leaders in Islam, said Hayyumi. “Work related to those rhythmic movements is also haram. For example, since Islam says that dancing or music is haram, renting a place to teach dance or cutting wood to make musical instruments is haram.

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He said that while some would try to justify that teaching or listening to music in Iran is legal under Islamic law, “they cannot change the mainstream of the bureaucratic establishment.”

There is concern among religious leaders that Zumba is corrupting Iranian men who watch videos of the classes posted online. Some videos of Iranian zumba instructors have already been blocked by the authorities because they were considered obscene and banned.

As Zumba has spread to more than 180 countries, it has been banned as un-Islamic by other conservative Muslim leaders, including by fatwa, or religious edict, in parts of Malaysia.

But Iran’s ban comes at a time when the dance fitness trend has gone mainstream here. Most public and private gyms in Tehran and other major cities offer Zumba classes for women. Many women, whose exercise options were already limited by the government, were shocked by the Zumba ban.

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Abhusari says these classes are incredibly popular not only among rich women, but also among the middle class and the poor.

“Even in the low-income areas of the suburbs of Tehran where I live… girls are subsidized for a month for Zumba classes to keep their bodies and minds fit and upbeat,” Abusari said. In her spare time, the 38-year-old teaches Zumba to poor children who cannot afford classes.

The issue is not just women’s rights, he said. It has to do with the economy. Middle-class and wealthy women in northern Tehran often pay for private Zumba classes at home, and jobs where the pay is negotiable and usually generous will now disappear, she noted.

Malihi Egli, a 38-year-old mother of two who works at a bank in Tehran, said her office gym has already stopped offering Zumba or other “rhythmic exercises.” He pays $50 a month for eight private lessons. While Zumba classes will still be offered underground, “it’s going to be very expensive after the ban,” he said.

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Johre Safavizadeh, who used to attend Zumba classes at his gym in Tehran, loved the music and the atmosphere.

But as is often the case in Iran, Zumba also has a political element. Safavizada sees the ban as a means of mitigating the re-election of President Hassan Rouhani last month by hardliners.

The hardliners want to undo what President Rouhani promised, and as a result, “we women have lost a little joy,” she said.

Rouhani won after promising to unify Iran. But terrorist attacks by Islamic State militants in the capital this month killed 17 people, opening the door to a crackdown on hardline Shiite leaders. Some analysts say the Zumba ban could be the start of an effort by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and other outsiders to regain influence and oust Rouhani.

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Tehran-based analyst Nader Karimi Zuni does not believe Rouhani will make much progress against the supreme leader’s sanctions, including Zumba.

“For the Supreme Leader, America and Israel are holy enemies, eternal enemies,” Zuni said. “Therefore, what he calls ‘deviant Western culture’ is haram and must be banned, whether it is a lifestyle, a taste or a sporting activity.”

After the 1967 war, the Palestinian village was annexed by Israel. Now it’s behind a wall, and an orphaned screenshot of a video posted in early March 2023 shows Iranian women dancing to the song “Calm Down” by Nigerian singer Rama. (Twitter screenshot: used according to Article 27A of the Copyright Law)

Paris – Yesterday, concerns grew about the well-being of five young Iranian women who were filmed dancing without head coverings in a viral video.

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The footage shows the women dancing with their bare middle toes under the high hills of the Akbatan residential area in Tehran to the tune of the song “Quiet” by the Nigerian afrobeats singer and rapper.

It went viral on TikTok and other social media channels last week to coincide with International Women’s Day on March 8.

Egpatan area activists first posted the video on Telegram and Twitter. Based on the sightings, authorities are asking area residents if they know the women, they said.

On Tuesday, activists claimed the women were arrested and forced to videotape their protests.

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In the Islamic Republic, women are not allowed to dance in public or wear an Islamic headscarf.

The repeal of the mandatory headscarf law was one of the main demands of the protest movement, which erupted in September after the death of 22-year-old actress Amini, who was arrested for violating the dress code.

This video of Iranian girls dancing to Rama and Selena Gomez’s “Shalom” in Tehran’s Agbatan district. In Iran, women are not allowed to dance in public. Advertisement — Iran International English (@IranIntl_En) March 9, 2023

After the initial viral photos of the five, another video surfaced on social media in which four women with their heads fully covered step forward one by one to express their grief.

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It appears to have been filmed in a similar Akpatan area, but could not verify the video or the circumstances under which it was made.

Akapetan, a middle-income area popular with young professionals and families, has seen repeated anti-government protests in recent months.

Retweeting the video of the women dancing with their long hair, Rama responded: “To all the beautiful women fighting for a better world, I am inspired by you, I sing for you, I dream with you.”

“They released this video on Women’s Day. Maybe not newsworthy, but they were dancing in Iran,” Newman wrote on Twitter.

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Thousands of people were arrested in what Iranian officials described as “riots” and blamed on hostile forces linked to the US, Israel and their allies.

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Dancing In The Dark

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Teens in Iran dance to Selena Gomez’s viral TikTok song. They were arrested and forced to videotape the apology at the same location.

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October 2021, Thuringia, Erfurt: Heike Werner (die Linke), Thuringia’s Minister Of Labour, Social Affairs, Health, Women And Family, And Felix Blei From The Cooperation Partner

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