Cleric blames earthquakes on immodest women

Throughout history, supernatural causes have often been used to explain the occurrence of natural disasters. These days, however, religious figures and political pundits seem to be grabbing at straws. Take the following example: An Iranian cleric, Hojatoleslam Kazem Sedighi, was quoted by Iranian media today connecting the frequency of earthquakes with the aggregate modesty of ...

ATTA KENARE/AFP/Getty Images
ATTA KENARE/AFP/Getty Images
ATTA KENARE/AFP/Getty Images

Throughout history, supernatural causes have often been used to explain the occurrence of natural disasters. These days, however, religious figures and political pundits seem to be grabbing at straws. Take the following example:

An Iranian cleric, Hojatoleslam Kazem Sedighi, was quoted by Iranian media today connecting the frequency of earthquakes with the aggregate modesty of Iranian women's garb. According to Sedighi, flirting with men, wearing a tight shirt or neglecting your head scarf is the principal cause behind tectonic shifts. "Many women who do not dress modestly ... lead young men astray, corrupt their chastity and spread adultery in society, which (consequently) increases earthquakes." I think he may have just stumbled upon the perfect evil plot for the next James Bond movie.

Then again, he doesn't look so nutty when you compare him to Rush Limbaugh's comment that the volcanic eruption in Iceland is God's reaction to the passage of healthcare reform. On the bright side, now that we know that God punishes Europe for our satanic legislation, we can pass all the reform we like... God sure does work in mysterious ways.

Throughout history, supernatural causes have often been used to explain the occurrence of natural disasters. These days, however, religious figures and political pundits seem to be grabbing at straws. Take the following example:

An Iranian cleric, Hojatoleslam Kazem Sedighi, was quoted by Iranian media today connecting the frequency of earthquakes with the aggregate modesty of Iranian women’s garb. According to Sedighi, flirting with men, wearing a tight shirt or neglecting your head scarf is the principal cause behind tectonic shifts. "Many women who do not dress modestly … lead young men astray, corrupt their chastity and spread adultery in society, which (consequently) increases earthquakes." I think he may have just stumbled upon the perfect evil plot for the next James Bond movie.

Then again, he doesn’t look so nutty when you compare him to Rush Limbaugh’s comment that the volcanic eruption in Iceland is God’s reaction to the passage of healthcare reform. On the bright side, now that we know that God punishes Europe for our satanic legislation, we can pass all the reform we like… God sure does work in mysterious ways.

Kayvan Farzaneh is an editorial researcher at Foreign Policy.

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