Immodest women make the earth move, according to Hojatoleslam Kazem Sedighi. In a statement to the Iranian media, Tehran’s acting Friday prayer leader cautioned that women who wear tight clothing or whose scarves reveal much of their hair “lead young men astray, corrupt their chastity and spread adultery in society, which increases earthquakes.”
Sedighi’s statement follows Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s prediction of an imminent earthquake. Iran is among the world’s most earthquake-prone countries; Ahmadinejad has advised many of Tehran’s 12 million residents to relocate.
According to The Guardian, Sedighi explained during prayers last week that “a divine authority told [him] to tell the people to make a general repentance.” “To avoid being buried under the rubble…there is no other solution but to take refuge in religion and to adapt our lives to Islam’s moral codes,” the cleric insisted.
President Ahmadinejad predicted a cataclysmic quake two weeks ago, but did not give an exact date. For more than two decades, seismologists have warned that Tehran is vulnerable because it straddles several fault lines. However, Tehran has not suffered a major earthquake since 1830.
Shiism in the Modern Context: From Religious Quietism to Political Activism
By Rainer Brunner , Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique
(Vol. 3, December 2008)