Sara and Dara dolls, Iran's answer to Barbie and Ken.
Photo Credit: BBC News
In an effort to safeguard "Islamic culture and revolutionary values" from gharbzadegi or Westoxification (1), Iran's prosecutor general, Ghorban-Ali Dorri Najafabadi, warned in a letter to Iranian Vice-President Parviz Davoudi, against the invasion of Barbie, Batman, Spider-Man and Harry Potter and demanded that the country's young be protected against them.
The ISNA news agency quoted the prosecutor as saying: "We need to find substitutes to ward off this onslaught, which aims at children and young people whose personality is in the process of being formed."
Actually, Iran has already tried that and failed:
27 Apr 2008,
Iran must fight Barbie doll invasion: prosecutor
Two years ago, police raided toy shops to put black stickers on the packaging of Barbie dolls to hide their bodies. In public in Iran, women must cover all bodily contours, a rule that Barbie conspicuously fails to obey.
Iran has already launched its answer to Barbie and her partner Ken -- Sara and Dara, who show full respect for the country's Islamic rules. But they have not succeeded in countering the popularity of Barbie.
It has been over six years (March 6, 2002) since Iran introduced twin dolls Dara and Sara, see photo above. As you see, Sara is rather pathetic-looking, much like all Muslim women who wear the veil and it's easy to see why no Iranian wants to buy her or her village-idiot-looking twin brother Dara. And besides, what kind of stories can you possibly tell about them? In America, Barbie's popularity is due to her glamour and extensive wardrobe. What does Sara have, one chador? And when you play with Sara and Dara each of them must be in separate rooms, even though they are brother and sister, or there will be an Honor Killing by Angry-Daddy Doll.
Barbie, made by Mattel Inc, is a best seller despite the cost: about 320,000 rials ($35) in a nation where the average monthly salary is about 1,800,000 rials ($200). Sara and Dara go for about 125,000 rial ($14) each.
As I pointed out in my article Indian man held for stealing frozen sperm: "In the end, the world will speak American, act American, be American. Those that try to be bizarro-American, that is, the opposite of our culture, as Hugo Chavez is doing, and as Castro has done, are doomed to failed societies." Iran is also doomed, without coercion, people will always choose to be like Americans. If Muslims were free to abandon their faith without fear of being whipped, tortured, burned and killed, and were exposed to American culture, in short order, Islam would cease to exist.
26 Nov 2002,
Barbie in Iran -- Has the Revolution Become Skin Deep?
Fifty percent of the population is under 25. The upper-class youth, the enfants dores of this town, spend most of their evenings going to private parties, drinking, doing drugs and dancing to the latest Western electronica music. Rave parties equipped with DJs of the moment are held in secret corners of the Caspian and the Alborz Mountains above Tehran.
From time to time, these parties are raided. Many claim to have been whipped, beaten up, humiliated and mentally abused by the Special Forces (Bassijis), whose job it is to stop this un-Islamic behavior. But most go back to their partying, sometimes within days of coming out of prison. They boast about these experiences with the youthful zeal of someone having returned from an Outward Bound trip.
These youths are no revolutionaries. They desire freedom, but lack ideology. Having had religion shoved down their throats, they have become nihilists. Often I hear, when people speak about American foreign policy, an outright desire to be attacked by the West. "God willing, they will bomb us too and end our misery," is a common refrain.
Very sad to see young boys and girls who, if they cannot be like us, wish to be bombed by us. This is life under Islam.
Angel at Woman Honor Thyself wonders why they don't dispense free Hitler dolls for all the kiddioes.
Why I am so Wise Blog, Westoxification
The title of this post is a buzzword from the Iranian Revolution 25 years ago, referring to the poisonous effect of Western culture on Iranian society. It came to symbolize what the revolutionaries hated most, and an earthly replication of Imam Ali's reign was what they wanted to achieve, I suppose. A quarter century later, they certainly haven't found the latter...