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Iran: A New Movie seen as Promoting Homosexuality, Outrages the Conservatives

National Screening of a new comedy featuring two top-selling Iranian actors has caused widespread controversy after one of the most influential Iranian clergymen ripped the movie for "promoting Hollywood-style homosexuality".

Avatar of Alessia Valenza

14th November 2011 23:20

Alessia Valenza | ILGA Asia

"Shit va Bish" is a story of two young friends who want to strike it rich. Highly popular actors Mohammad Reza Golzar and Amin Hayati played the role of the two friends, who in their pursuit of wealth engage in all sort of wild – and illegal-behaviors, including attending western-styled parties and drinking alcohol, phenomena that are considered taboo in Iran.

The conservative and highly influential clergyman, Ayatollah Alam ol-Hoda, the Friday Prayer Imam in the holy city of Mashhad in Eastern Iran, dedicated his Eid Praying service -which marked the end of the Hajj Pilgrimage- to the subject of promotion of cultural corruption in the society. In his sermon, he sharply criticized the government officials for licensing the movie "Shish va Pish", which in his view is part of US conspiracy to undermine the morale of the Muslim society and promote homosexuality through laughter.

Although the two actors are introduced as friends -and not gay partners- in the movie, their body gestures, show of emotions for each other, and constant physical contact is interpreted by some of the audience as two men in a homosexual relationship.

The full text of Ayatollah Alam ol-Hoda, the influential clergyman who started the national debate about the movie can be accessed here:

You can view more shots from the movie here:

The movie trailer for "Shit va Bish" can be viewed here: