Authorities are applying Khomeini’s pronouncement to the letter: “Allah did not create man so that he could have fun. The aim of creation was for mankind to be put to the test through hardship and prayer. An Islamic regime must be serious in every field. There are no jokes in Islam. There is no humor in Islam. There is no fun in Islam. There can be no fun and joy in whatever is serious.”
“Iranians stage ‘water fight’ in Tehran,” by Dudi Cohen for YNet News, August 1:
Men, women, and children of all ages beat the heat in Tehran on Friday with a water fight at the city’s Water and Fire Park, drawing criticism from conservatives for their “immodest” behavior and dress.
Local police threatened to arrest the revelers after press agencies published numerous photos of the event.
The park’s manager said the water fight had been coordinated. He added that many of the women’s headdresses fell victims to the splashing water, “but police couldn’t get control of those involved”.
Only after authorities halted the water flow — some three hours later — did the battle stop, the park manager said.
Tehran Police Chief Hussain Sajedinia was quick to condemn the merrymaking in a country in which young men and women are strongly discouraged to mix.
He said a number of people had tried to recreate the water fight on Sunday, behaving in a manner “that opposes Islamic values and social order”. He added that police arrested the participants before they could get started.
Iranians generally refrain from holding coed events in public, as Islamic code prohibits it. However this code has been broken a number of times, especially during the summer, which in Iran can manifest in temperatures of up to 38 degrees Celsius.
Pictures from the water fight have been uploaded to a number of different social websites, causing some concern for participants whose faces can be seen clearly, as many fear reprisals from authorities.