Hold on to your pomade, the Islamofascists are coming! The ever-strengthening case for war against Iran became nigh-airtight this morning with the Wall Street Journal's front- page story detailing the Islamic Republic's latest assault on freedom. Religious police, reports Andrew Higgins, are cracking down with unprecedented brutality, denying Iranian citizens even such basic human rights as coiffure choice and manscape self-determination:
Now, under a new national campagin to enforce "Islamic norms," men, too, are becoming victims of Islamically correct fashion. Hair gel is OK—in modest dollops—but hair-dyes of odd colors are out, as are shaped and trimmed eyebrows, Mohawk cuts and conspicuous spikes. Men are not supposed to wear cosmetics, and they are not to wear ties.
Adding insult to injury, the sanctioned look preferred by bureaucrats—"short, stubbly beards and pudding-bowl haircuts"—is so last season.Such is the portrait of a failed state crying out for regime change. News of the expanded sartorial repression is especially disheartening coming after yesterday's semi-optimistic L.A. Times report on the freedom fighters in Tehran who have recently added underground fashion shows to such resistance measures as "outlandish liquor- and drug-soaked parties, art exhibitions, showings of banned movies, [and] hip-hop concerts."
Indeed, the Journal's findings dissolve any hope for a non-military solution; it now appears that Ahmadinejad and his cronies will go to any length to quell the voices of democratic cosmetology:
Tehran's Union of Men's Hairdressers is working to keep its members out of trouble. "It's not easy being a barber," sighs its chief, Mr. Eftekharifard, a jolly 47-year-old who began his hairdressing before the 1979 Islamic revolution.
Most Iranian men wear their hair short and avoid any unconventional flourishes, but a few youths, particularly in affluent areas, indulge in elaborate exercises of hair topiary.... Some fashion conscious young men have started shaping their eyebrows and even wearing makeup. Mr. Eftekharifard blames the trend on satellite television and the proliferation of unregistered, underground hair salons.
So there, defeatniks! Far from a lost cause, the Persians have a burgeoning salon society just waiting for a foreign invasion or two. But the unibrowed and comb-overed forces of evil can't be held off forever:
At a shopping arcade near the British embassy in central Tehran, police last week raided shops selling ties. The owner of one store says they forced him to strip clothing dummies of neckties and ordered him to take down an ad featuring an Italian in a suit and tie. He now hides his contraband neckwear in a plastic bag behind the counter.
Unless you want want the smoking gun to be a pleated trouser.