Iran has seen the face of the enemy--and it's plastic.
No, we're not talking about Nancy Pelosi; Iran's top prosecutor said imports of Barbie dolls and and other decadent Western toys will have destructive cultural and social consequences for the Islamic Republic.
Iran's conservative clerical establishment often rails against the perceived dangers of U.S.-inspired culture and consumerism, branding it "Westoxication."
But young Iranians are often keen consumers of such music, films and other goods from the West. Iconic toy brands can be bought in children's shops in the capital Tehran and elsewhere.
"The appearance of personalities such as Barbie, Batman, Spiderman and Harry Potter and ... computer games and movies are all a danger warning to the officials in the cultural arena," said Prosecutor General Ghorban Ali Dori Najafabadi in a letter to Vice President Parviz Davoudi published in the Mardom Salari daily.
Najafabadi, a high-ranking cleric, said Iran was the world's third biggest importer of toys and suggested this posed a threat to the "personality and identity" of the new generation.
The cartoon at the beginning of this story is from October 2006: once again Cox and Forkum were ahead of the curve. The cartoon above chronicles the Saudi freak-out at the time over Barbie.
Maybe it's contagious.
image: cox and Forkum
Source: Official sees "Destructive" Barbie influence
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