Although a large number of shops in Tehran put a Christmas tree in their windows to welcome Christmas season, the Christmas theme in several shopping centers has displeased the regime dependent media.
Mohabat News – Last week you could sense the Christmas season in several streets in Tehran. Many shops had placed a decorated Christmas tree where it could easily capture the attention of passersby. But it seems that this trend has upset the pro-government media!
According to Iranian Christian News Agency, Mohabat News, Serat-News website, which is backed by security authorities and plain-clothes forces (mostly members of the Basij militia), commented on this matter saying, "It's not proper for Tehran as the capital of a country with a Muslim majority to display a Christmas tree in every corner of the city".
It added, "One of the main symbols of Christianity, the majority religion of the world, is Christmas which is known by a colorfully decorated tree. What's the point of putting a Christmas tree in every well-known shopping center in a country where Islam is in the majority?"
This comment is made while the Islamic Republic of Iran, which calls Tehran "Om-al-ghera-e-Eslam" (meaning the main Islamic city), shows no tolerance towards any religion other that Shi'ite Islam. Serat-News website continued, "No doubt, Armenians who live in Iran feel loved, accepted and honored minorities among other communities in Iran. We share the same happiness and sadness. Therefore, Iranian Muslims according to their religious and national teachings cherish the beginning of the Christian year as a symbol for the great prophet of Christianity and his religion. But at the same time, some symbols are recognized as symbols for Christian communities all around the world and are considered offensive by others, whether majority or minority communities. The symbols for Christians are the Cross and the Christmas tree just as Kuffieh (a special fabric that Muslims use) is for Muslims.
In this regard, Serat News wrote, "considering the fact that the Islamic Republic has paid a high price to register the Norouz Celebrations in the World Heritage list of UNESCO, it's not proper for Tehran as the capital of a country with a Muslim majority to display Christmas trees in every corner of the city!"
"Symbolism and the spread of western culture through the promotion of celebrations and cultural symbols is something which has been followed by western politicians for years. For example, the Valentine celebration slowly spread throughout our country using the same method. This is now so deeply rooted in Iran that today, to be against this celebration would be considered an unforgivable sin!" wrote Serat.
At the end of the article, this pro-government website suggested that since Armenian minorities usually buy their needs within their own neighborhoods, there is no point for every boutique in Tehran to display Christmas trees in their windows. Additionally, unresponsiveness of cultural authorities of the country regarding prevalent cultural problems in shopping centers and the amazing tendency of some city managers towards the symbolism is also astounding.