President Ahmadinejad of Iran is concerned that his nation might be next in this year's wave of earthquakes. Seismologists warn that the region may be overdue for one, and the president is reportedly mulling over whether to evacuate part of the population of Tehran in advance of any possible disaster. I don't know whether he's been listening exclusively to scientists or whether his expectations are influenced by the more impressionistic analyses of experts like our Idiot of the Week. He is a hojatoleslam, a "proof of Islam," a religious expert ranking just below the ayatollahs in the Shiite hierarchy of religious scholarship and jurisprudence. He also warns of an earthquake striking Iran, but he also thinks it might be preventable. He has a daring hypothesis on the causes of earthquakes. They are caused by women dressing immodestly, which offends God. A "general repentance," on the other hand, might stay the deity's wrathful hand. The nation's minister of welfare and social security seconds this assessment. To my knowledge, the president has not issued earthquake-prevention recommendations along these lines. Is he sleeping on the job or can it be that he is not the biggest nut in Iranian high places?
This Sedighi strikes me as the type who, should the Israelis decide to preempt the Iranian nuclear program, would blame the bombings on the enemy within, the sluts of Iran who provoked God into raising his curtain of protection just to teach them a lesson. It would just go to show that while doctrines divide us, a certain type of religious mentality is really the same everywhere.