By Paul Canning
Does this look GAY to you?
No? Well according to an Iranian clergyman is fair screams GAY (as in two men doing the wild thing together).
"Shish va Pish" is a new comedy featuring two top-selling Iranian actors and it has caused widespread controversy.
It's about two young male friends who want to strike it rich through 'wild' - and illegal - activities, like 'western-style' parties involving alcohol. All very taboo in Iran. Although the two actors are introduced as friends - and not gay partners - in the movie, their body gestures, show of emotions for each other, and constant physical contact have been interpreted by some of the audience as two men in a GAY relationship.
The stars are the extremely popular actors Mohammad Reza Golzar and Amin Hayati.
Well one conservative and highly influential clergyman, Ayatollah Alam ol-Hoda, in his review of the movie condemned it for "promoting Hollywood-style homosexuality".
During the Friday Prayer Imam in the holy city of Mashhad in Eastern Iran, he dedicated his Eid Praying service - which marks the end of the Hajj Pilgrimage - to the subject of promotion of cultural corruption in the society. In his sermon, he sharply criticized government officials for even licensing the movie, which, in his view, is part of a US conspiracy to undermine the morale of the Muslim society and promote homosexuality through laughter. Though he said "We are not opposed to the laughter and joy".
HT: Hossein Alizadeh