Haraam internet campaign
03 May 20120 comments
Haraam, the opposite of halaal, is an action or object that is deemed impermissible in Islamic Law. Alcoholic beverages, pork, premarital sex (and just a few million more items) are things every good Muslim refrains from. In public, anyway.
And this principle is also true for the internet. If Facebook is Haraam, that is fine because a good Iranian knows how to access their page in the privacy of their home. And many do so without leaving obvious trails for the police to hunt them down. Which is exactly what made the authorities consider a campaign loosely known as ‘halalisation of the internet’ in Iran.
And what’s the harm of an Iranian accessing haraam pages? Let’s say I beat my wife and children when they are unruly. But do I want my wife and children to share that sort of information with the neighbours with whom we socialise every once in a while? By the same token, our supreme leader (and no he is not a made-up sci-fi character) does not want us to tell the rest of the world that he flogs us when we are disobedient. That is of course, if we are lucky, because ridiculously long prison sentences and even executions are not unheard of.
So why are their plans so very ambiguous? Here’re my theories:
Theory #1: When you want to become a politician in Iran, you are not hired based on your qualifications, but by the level of doubt you can shed on any given issue. The vaguer you can talk, the higher your position would be. Additional preference is shown to those who can be vague and then deny what they said, even if you show them footage of them actually saying it. Check out some Ahmadinejad interviews if you doubt my first theory. Or 90 (navad).
Therefore, they are very ambiguous in announcing their plans, and also refute them if need be. But that doesn’t necessarily mean they are not well-prepared. Even though I personally doubt this because of my next theory.
Theory #2: Businesses do get to have a say in this because part of their profits also profits those who have a say in this.
Therefore, as an ambiguous decision-maker, it’s best you keep everyone happy until the moment of truth. You don’t want to deny yourself your share of goodies simply because some idiots update their Facebook status. Or you may have to in the end because the sci-fi character controls you. But all leaders have a price too, don’t they?
Theory #3: This is when the hunter becomes the hunted and nobody likes the taste of their own medicine. Imagine you think you are the one always attacking websites, and all of a sudden very crucial data from very crucial organisations you run is under attack (hello, remember stuxnet?) and you think, maybe it’s time we called it a day and unplug the country – it’s internet I hope I mean.
As everything haraam tastes better than the halaal version, let’s take full advantage of the trickle we call internet in Iran and also campaign against theirs to ruin their party in case they are seriously contemplating irreparable damage.