Home west asia Please Pee Seated: Iran Removes ‘Un-Islamic’ Urinals From Malls

Please Pee Seated: Iran Removes ‘Un-Islamic’ Urinals From Malls

A fatwa by Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei says it is Makrooh (disliked but not sinful) and indicative of "Westoxification," to urinate while standing or on a hard surface.
Urinals
Urinals: Missing in Iran

TEHRAN: Branding them as “un-Islamic,” the hardline regime in Iran has started removing urinals from shopping malls in Tehran, reports Iran International.

A fatwa by Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei says it is Makrooh (disliked but not sinful) and indicative of “Westoxification,” to urinate while standing or on a hard surface. Men are thus forced to use the pit latrines instead, the website reported.

The sudden move sparked widespread discourse on social media.

“This is ridiculous! If they’d spend more time worrying about the economy, the starving people, the water shortage, they wouldn’t have to worry about how men urinate,” posted one user.

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“I hope the level of your demands always remains this profoundly high, and that your minds never get bogged down with demands for trivial matters like city beautification, increased security, or economic improvements,” said another. “Demands should only be for issues like hijab and the Islamic way of dressing, as these are what truly elevate people’s quality of life.”

The removal of urinals is just one example of how the Iranian regime continues to exert control over the minor details of the population’s personal lives, from dress codes and family planning to restroom habits.

The theocratic regime in the country, which held its first election in March since massive protests rocked the country in 2022, faced a major challenge due to the low turnout. Although Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has the final say in all important state matters, a low turnout indicated increasing disaffection with the regime among the voters, particularly the young. .

The 2022 protests against state high-handedness were sparked by the death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian Kurdish woman in the custody of the country’s moral police. Women were in the forefront of the protests, which was brutally quashed by the autocratic regime led by supreme leader Ali Khamenei.

The demonstrations posed the most serious challenge to the theocratic regime in decades. There is also rising frustration and disillusionment among the youth over the rising costs due the western sanctions, and the lack of economic progress and personal freedom. While many young Iranians professed ignorance about the elections, others called for a boycott on social media.

Ironically, the low turnout actually brought more hardliners into power. The Mullahs won most of the remaining seats in a May 12 election runoff, giving them full control over the country’s parliament, authorities said.

The result, along with that of the previous vote in March, gives hard-liners 233 of 290 seats in parliament, according to an Associated Press tally.

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In a career spanning three decades and counting, I’ve been the foreign editor of The Telegraph, Outlook Magazine and the New Indian Express. I helped set up rediff.com’s editorial operations in San Jose and New York, helmed sify.com, and was the founder editor of India.com. My work has featured in national and international publications like the Al Jazeera Centre for Studies, Global Times and Ashahi Shimbun. My one constant over all these years, however, has been the attempt to understand rising India’s place in the world. I can rustle up a mean salad, my oil-less pepper chicken is to die for, and it just takes some beer and rhythm and blues to rock my soul.