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Sunday, April 15, 2012 

Iranian comics forced to comply with sharia law

The New York Times wrote about Iranians who've written and drawn comics, and how their work must conform to the dictates of Islamic law (aka sharia):
Many young Iranian artists admit to a passion for comic books from the United States and Europe. They can be purchased in Tehran, though they are expensive and often covered with the censors’ black ink. But local artists say they are trying to stamp their work with an Iranian identity.

Life for them, though, is not easy because their creative aspirations are kept firmly in check by the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance, responsible for approving all publications in the country.


“All our art has to conform to Islamic law,” said Mr. Tavakoli. “So our published art differs a lot from Western graphic novels. For example, women’s hair should not be visible, and all female characters have to be dressed in accordance with Islamic tradition.”
And, we can easily figure, positive portraits of Christians, Jews, and other western societies and beliefs are forbidden too, ditto criticism of Islam itself. No doubt Wonder Woman and many other US superheroines are taboo under such oppressive dictates too (the part about the black ink can tell something), and that just shows how even for comics writers and artists in Iran, there's no freedom of speech.

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