Holy Shiite! Pious pilgrimage just got more exciting at Imam Reza’s shrine in Iran, where for a reasonable fee (see price list below) a mullah can join any eager pilgrim in holy matrimony of “temporary marriage” with his choice of a lovely, fully hijabed, and properly veiled prostitute for a period between 5 hours to 10 days. Pedophiles welcome: girls as young as 12 years of age are standing by. Not to worry, the mullahs got them covered: all “temps” under 14 must show a written consent from their fathers or male guardians (no doubt on advice from the recently fired, now freelancing ACORN specialists).
We are not making this up.
According to a document obtained by Planet-Iran.com, the mullahs are doing it not for the money (what’s a 5% pimp cut for a holy shrine?), but out of the noble desire “to elevate the spiritual atmosphere, create proper psychological conditions and tranquility of mind” of “those brothers who are on pilgrimage to the shrine.” Verily, what true believer can maintain tranquility of mind and not succumb to sexual yearning while away from his other wives for nearly a week? No pious man should have to suffer such inhumanity.
Here’s how it works. The mullah performs a ceremony that sanctions the “morality” of the relationship for a period specified in the “prenuptial agreement” (not more than 10 days, minimum charge 5 hrs) — in direct proportion to the size of the “bridegroom’s” wallet. When the “godliness” of their prepaid romance expires, the “honeymooners” descend from the moral high ground to get an easy, Sharia-compliant divorce.
No citing of irreconcilable differences is required — but if it had been, I imagine the most common case would sound something like “I’m a deeply religious person, and she is a whore.” As Allah and his prophet Mohammed would have it, a man can have many wives, so no laws are broken and the decorum is intact.
Everyone is happy: the mullahs count their money, the enlightened “pilgrim” goes home with a renewed sense of moral self-righteousness, and the recurrent bachelorette is back on the bridal market. In her case it’s the reception room of the Center for Temporary Marriage (just next door to the shrine), where she sits on the couch reading Modern Bride and waiting, with a fainting heart, for the door to swing open and a tall, dark, handsome bridegroom to rush in, lift her in his arms, and carry her to the altar, and they would have a family and live happily ever after for as long as a whole week, or maybe even for the entire maximum allowed period of ten days.
But don’t take my word for it. Here’s the full document, translated into English by Planet-Iran.com:
In the name of Allah who is most gracious and merciful
Temporary Marriage (Marriage is among the traditions of the Prophet Mohammad)
In order to elevate the spiritual atmosphere, create proper psychological conditions and tranquility of mind, the Province of the Quds’eh-Razavi of Khorassan has created centers for temporary marriage (just next door to the shrine) for those brothers who are on pilgrimage to the shrine of our eighth Imam, Imam Reza, and who are far away from their spouses.
To that end, we call on all our sisters who are virgins, who are between the ages of 12 and 35 to cooperate with us. Each of our sisters who signs up will be bound by a two-year contract with the province of the Quds’eh-Razavi of Khorassan and will be required to spend at least 25 days of each month temporarily married to those brothers who are on pilgrimage. The period of the contract will be considered as a part of the employment experience of the applicant. The period of each temporary marriage can be anywhere between 5 hours to 10 days. The prices are as follows:
· 5 hour temporary marriage — 50,000 Tomans ($50 US)
· One day temporary marriage — 75,000 Tomans ($75 US)
· Two day temporary marriage — 100,000 Tomans ($100 US)
· Three day temporary marriage — 150,000 Tomans ($150 US)
· Between 4 and 10 day temporary marriage — 300,000 Tomans ($300 US)
Our sisters who are virgins will receive a bonus of 100,000 Tomans ($100 US) for the removal of their hymen.
After the expiration of the two-year contract, should our sisters still be under 35 years of age and should they be so inclined, they can be added to the waiting list of those who are seeking long-term temporary marriage. The employed sisters are obligated to donate 5% of their earnings to the Shrine of Imam Reza. We ask that all the sisters who are interested in applying, to furnish two full-length photographs (fully hijabed and properly veiled), their academic diplomas, proof of their virginity and a certificate of good physical and psychological health which they can obtain through the health and human services of the township of their residence. Please forward all compiled material and send to the below address by the 31st of the month of Ordibehesht, 1389 (May 21st, 2010).
Attention: For sisters who are below 14 years of age, a written consent from their fathers or male guardian is required.
Address: Mash’had, Shrine of Imam Reza, Shaheed Navab-Safavi, Kossar passage, Bureau of Temporary Marriages
or call Haji Mahmood Momtaz: 98/511/222-5790
And you thought speech codes only existed on your local public radio. The mullahs have been perfecting the magic of word games too, and with great efficiency. For instance, the above document can be used as proof that there is no prostitution in Iran.
Obviously, it is not sex tourism as long as they call it “visiting holy shrines.” It is not sexual exploitation as long as the clients are called “brothers” and the whores are called “sisters.” It is not a brothel as long as you call it a “Bureau.” It is not prostitution as long as it is called “temporary marriage,” the hustler is a mullah, and the pimp cut is an “obligatory donation.”
See? No prostitution whatsoever. Just like there are no homosexuals in Iran. Sanctimonious language works every time whenever an irrational culture keeps people blind to reality, compelling them to judge others by what they say and not by what they do.
The mullahs are very peculiar about maintaining a highly moral society. And the society plays along, by exhibiting a highly moral behavior. And what happens in the Shrine of the Eighth Imam, stays in the Shrine of the Eighth Imam.
You may still be smirking about the new definition of “temporary employment agency.” Or yucking that the meaning of “brothers” and “sisters” will never be the same again. And it may be a while before you stop associating the word “honeymoon” with the crescent on top of a mosque.
But don’t be in a hurry to act superior. It seems ridiculous only because you’re not accustomed to it. There are similarly ridiculous absurdities with which you grew up in your own culture without giving them much thought, or gave up fighting them.
For example, haven’t you yourself swallowed and digested — at least partially — similarly sanctimonious speech codes of the American mainstream media? The political correctness as practiced by educators, entertainers, and politicians, who believe that a change of words can somehow change the objective reality?
The details may be different on the surface, but the core belief is the same — the game of banning, promoting, and inventing words puts them in control of your mind. At least in this respect, East and West appear to be sharing the same values.
Generally speaking, the Islamic culture is rather restrictive. But with a pious decorum and all the correct words, anything goes — from pedophilia to wholesale slaughter. Just don’t forget to call it love, peace, friendship, tolerance, or sensitivity. And keep repeating “in the name of Allah who is most gracious and merciful” — bismillah al rahman al rahim — as often as you can.
The sanctimonious disguise can go a long way — even as far as New York, where you can build a mosque next to the ruins of Ground Zero and call it “a friendship center.” As an added bonus, you get the moral right to malign the protesting Americans as “bigots” — and do so with a full backing on part of New York’s “useful intellectuals” — a small but powerful sect with an extremely sanctimonious culture of their own.
Technically, the Muslim clerics behind the Ground Zero mosque are not the same as the Iranian mullahs, but their religionist tactics and belief in Sharia are identical. And although the New York sect is of a secular variety, it is also just as pious and self-delusional. Just as it is with the mullahs, anything is permissible here — from pedophilia to theft to wholesale slaughter — as long as one claims good intentions and uses a politically correct language, like love, peace, friendship, tolerance, sensitivity, or economic equality and justice. Based on emotion rather than reason, the sect’s irrational culture keeps its adepts blind to reality and compels them to judge others by their words rather than by their deeds.
And that is why the New York sect has no objections to Sharia, as long as its proponents use all the right words. The two sects seem to understand each other so well because on a deeper level they both speak the same language. That makes them natural allies. At least for the time being.