I’ll admit Pharrell Williams’ song “Happy” is getting pretty annoying. It’s a shame, because I really liked the tune when I first heard it, but I think I’ve listened to it more times than “Let It Go” from Frozen. And that’s A LOT of times.
No matter how exasperating Pharrell’s hit song has become, no one deserves to be arrested for making a YouTube music video to the melody. Unfortunately, that’s what happened in Iran on Monday.
And that’s why this week’s Hump Day Fuck You goes out to conservative Iranian national laws and those who enforce them.
A special Fuck You goes out to Ali Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of Iran. Yes – “Supreme Leader” is an actual political term for the head of state and highest-ranking political and religious authority in the Islamic Republic of Iran (thank you Wikipedia). It’s noteworthy that the “Supreme” part of the title is not found in Iran’s constitution, and is merely used as a sign of respect. To me, it sounds like it’s just tacked on to make Khamenei sound more like a bad guy.
Please take a look at the fun, charming video below (the original video has since been made private, so this is a copy by supporters of people who made the video):
Let’s go over some quick information surrounding the arrest of more than six young Iranian men and women:
- The brave women in this video were not wearing hijab, a veil that is used to cover the head and chest of a Muslim female beyond the age of puberty.
- It’s a crime to go out in public unveiled.
- Iranian president Hassan Rouhani has been advocating for more social freedom, while Khamenei, who is also the head of the National Radio and Television Institution IRIB, clearly hates progress.
- The producers of the video were arrested after being called and told their friend had suffered a car accident. They showed up at the address given by the caller, out of concern for their friend, and were arrested by security forces.
- On Saturday, President Rouhani tweeted, “#Cyberspace should be seen as opportunity: facilitating two-way communication, increasing efficiency & creating jobs.”
I was unaware of the law that said women had to wear veils out in public in Iran, and I feel ignorant for my lack of knowledge on the subject. While I respect and support freedom of religion, this law religious-rooted law seems incredibly outdated. According to HuffPost, many Iranians didn’t wear the hijab prior to the Iranian Revolution of 1979. If you guessed that Khamenei was a big part of that revolution, you’d be right.
What the hell, Khamenei? You’re a shit revolutionary if you ask me. I understand why you helped to overthrow pro-United States Iranian monarchy back in the 70s – it’s a popular and unoriginal thing to hate America – but now you’re throwing kids in jail for the revolutionary act of making a music video without their hijabs on?
Fuck you, Khamenei. Normally I’d until the end of the post to say that, but I’m pissed. One of the women involved with the making of the video, Neda, said that all she and her collaborators “wanted to tell the world that the Iranian capital is full of lively young people and change the harsh and rough image that the world sees on the news.”
What the fuck is wrong with that? Nothing, that’s what. It’s free PR, Khamenei, you moron. Over here in America, we waste lots of time shooting cat videos. You just jailed a group of non-violent, innovative, and extremely likeable group of amateur filmmakers for trying to shed a favorable light on your country. Are you kidding me?
I know there are a lot more cultural and political factors surrounding this situation. I won’t pretend to know everything about Iranian culture and history. But as an American, this fucking outrages me. I grew up making harmless, funny videos with my friends – and still do that today – and can’t imagine getting arrested for it. And what a cowardly way to arrest the people involved. Khamenei: If you’re going to rule with an iron fist, don’t hide it behind your back.
Good for Neda and the rest of the group for making this video. Despite growing up under repressive, archaic authority, they wanted to show the world that Iranians know how to have fun, too. They love their country in spite of dickheads in charge like Khamenei who refuse to wake up and smell the 21st century flavored coffee.
Fuck you, conservative Iranian laws and Ali Khamenei. All of a sudden, “Happy” sounds fresh again.
Oh and #FreeHappyIranians. Can’t wait to see the next video!