Prayers on TV mandatory in Iran
Monday, May 7, 2007
Ezatollah Zarghami, the head of the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) who is appointed by Grand Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has said, "In the current year, television productions that do not have prayer scenes will not be allowed to air."
Referring to a scene in a television program wherein a murder suspect was shown supplicating, Zarghami stated, "Prayer scenes should not be confined to positive and leading characters, the elderly and the clean-living types." Consequently, program heroes and villains are expected to pray alike because it is one of the Five Pillars of Islam.
All television stations are interrupted five times everyday to permit praying to be broadcast. News anchors and reporters are also required to call upon God.
Some Iranians watch Western television shows in Iran notwithstanding their being banned. IRIB itself sometimes airs censored versions of Hollywood movies; however, since Iran and the United States do not have any sort of copyrights relations, companies in either countries do not have any legal recourse.