1.If a person is fired from one film company, would other companies in the industry refuse to hire him? 2.What is considered "non-Islamic" behaviour? [IRN2764]


The Ministry of Islamic Guidance was established in 1979 and is in charge of the cultural, artistic, literary, intellectual and scientific life of Iranians. [ Kevin Boyle, ed., World Report 1988: Article 19, Information, Freedom and Censorship, Times Books, 1988, p. 254.] Censorship of the media was "imposed to prevent `counter-revolutionary and non-Islamic influences.'" [ Boyle, p. 252.] Dilip Hiro, the author of Iran Under the Ayatollahs, observes that the film industry declined after the Islamic revolution, and that all seven films produced in 1981 (only ten percent of the former production level of approximately 70 films per year) had to be approved by the Ministry of Islamic Guidance. [ Dilip Hiro, Iran Under the Ayatollahs, (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1987), p. 257.] He also mentions that the ministry set up its own film production department, but does not provide the name of the department. [ Hiro, p. 257.] Films produced by this department had Islamic themes. The restrictions placed on the press, media and film industry reflect the central role of Islam in Iranian society, and writers who do not comply have been summarily executed. For example, in 1980, a poet/theatre director was arrested and shot soon afterwards. [ Boyle, p. 255.] Another poet was "executed after having been found guilty of `advocating sexual freedom'". [ Boyle, p. 255.] Following the Salman Rushdie affair in 1989, Index on Censorship carried a story on censorship of the Iranian press. Over forty writers, playwrights and journalists are known to have been executed since 1979, though the actual number is believed to be much higher. [ Amir Taheri, "Iran: Pandora's Box Forced Open", Index on Censorship, September 1989, p. 8; Article 19 also discusses the execution of writers.]

Although no information on the Bonyad Farabi was found, the attached information indicates that the film industry in Iran is tightly controlled with limited opportunities due to its reduced size since the revolution. It was not possible to confirm whether the Ministry of Ershad is the Ministry of Islamic Guidance.

Non-Islamic behaviour would include any actions deemed to be offensive to Islam or not in conformity with the interpretation of the Koran (holy book of Allah). The Penal Code (Ta'azirat) of the Islamic Republic of Iran is based on Islamic Shari'a law, and punishments are meted out according to Shari'a. The Law of Hodoud and Qesas prescribes a number penalties for various sexual offenses. Please consult the attachment from Amnesty International for a description of some of the provisions of the Law of Hodoud and Qesas, and pages 258-259 of Iran Under the Ayatollahs. The Constitution gave the Islamic leadership the central role in all aspects of Iranian life. [ Boyle, pp. 251-252.]
Please refer to the attachments for more information:

Dilip Hiro, Iran Under the Ayatollahs, London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1987;

Kevin Boyle, ed., World Report 1988: Article 19, Information, Freedom and Censorship, New York: Times Books, 1988;

Amnesty International, Iran: Violations of Human Rights, New York: Amnesty International Publications, 1987;

Amir Taheri, "Iran: Pandora's Box Forced Open", Index on Censorship, September 1989.