Monday, September 26, 2005

Mashad, weasels and stupid laws

This item annoyed me no end. Especially since I repeatedly argued about the whole matter with a bunch of my compatriots last year. Back then, the number stood at 32,000.

There are close to 40,000 children without birth certificates in the “holy” city of Mashad, notorious now because of the public hanging of those gay youngsters. That’s because (mostly) Iraqi pilgrims, among others from bordering Arab countries, (according to the report) have brief liaisons with some poor women and then skip town after impregnating them thus abandoning their lovers to fend for themselves.

And by law, children born to Iranian woman and foreign men or those whose paternity can not be established have difficulties getting birth certificates.

While I have nothing against the much tormented Iraqis engaging in a bit of responsible R & R while on pilgrimage in the “holy” city—and this, especially as our Iraqi neighbors are having such a rough time of it regaining a sense of normalcy at home, it really irritates me that they don’t take the necessary precautions to avoid leaving a child behind.

It isn’t as if there are no condoms or other methods of birth control easily accessible. They are ruining some woman’s life as well as that her offspring.

And the Iranian authorities should really be forced to take the appropriate steps to change some of these anachronistic, stupid laws. A more open approach to sex education might not exactly hurt either.

A much welcome additional advantage to changing the laws, of course, is that our irresponsible citizens will be deprived of that omnipresent luxury of blaming foreigners for the consequences of their own indiscretions and false hopes. I am sure quite a few people can intuitively appreciate how easy it can be to scapegoat some non-existent Iraqi or Arab pilgrim when faced with a difficult, embarrassing predicament while stuck in a needlessly intolerant milieu!

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