Legalized Whore-Houses in Iran


The Iranian government recently passed legislation which created legal whore-houses, brothels which would be officially liscensed under law as “Chastity Houses.” Such a name is of course the epitome of Orwellian terminology, and the irony of the name should not be lost to anyone.

The Iranian clerics argued that the only way to solve the problem of prostitution is to bring it under state control. In recent weeks, several prominent conservative clerics have proposed that prostitutes be placed in government-run shelters for destitute women to be called “Chastity Houses,” where male customers could briefly “marry” them under the Shia belief of Mutah. These brothels would then be run by the Iranian religious clerics, who would ensure that the couples use contraceptives and protective measures. Proponents of the idea argue that it would “eradicate social corruption” by legitimizing sexual relations between the men and women. Under the plan, the couples would register for a temporary marriage under Iran’s Shia law.

One cleric backing the plan, Ayatollah Mohammed Mousavi Bojnurdi, recently told a newspaper: “We face a real challenge with all these women on the street. Our society is in an emergency situation, so the formation of the Chastity Houses can be an immediate solution to the problem.” He added that the plan “is both realistic and conforms to Sharia [Islamic] law.”

The Cultural Council for Women, a women’s rights group, argue back that such houses would be a “deceitful and thinly disguised” form of prostitution. Reuters recently quoted Shahrbanou Amani, a female parliamentarian, as calling the Chastity Houses “an insult and disrespectful to women.” Particularly discomforting is that there are hundreds of thousands of prostitutes in Tehran alone, and many of them are girls who are poverty-striken and forced into the now legalized prostitution that is so rampant in Iran. | Email : ahlelbayt[a] | English Version