Iranian Cleric: Women Who Don’t Dress Tzniusdik Cause Earthquakes


hojatoleslam-kazem-sedighi-2A senior Iranian cleric says women who do not dress modestly and behave inappropriately are to blame for earthquakes. Iran is one of the world’s most earthquake-prone countries, and the cleric’s unusual explanation for why the earth shakes follows a prediction by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that a quake is certain to hit Tehran and that many of its 12 million inhabitants should relocate.

 “Many women who do not dress modestly … lead young men astray, corrupt and spread [immorality] in society, which (consequently) increases earthquakes,” Hojatoleslam Kazem Sedighi was quoted as saying by Iranian media.

 Women in the Islamic Republic are required by law to cover from head to toe, but many, especially the young, ignore some of the more strict codes.

“What can we do to avoid being buried under the rubble?” Sedighi asked during a prayer sermon Friday. “There is no other solution but to take refuge in religion and to adapt our lives to Islam’s moral codes.”

Seismologists have warned for at least two decades that it is likely the sprawling capital will be struck by a catastrophic quake in the near future.

Some experts have even suggested Iran should move its capital to a less seismically active location. Tehran straddles scores of fault lines, including one more than 50 miles (80 kilometers) long, though it has not suffered a major quake since 1830.

In 2003, a powerful earthquake hit the southern city of Bam, killing 31,000 people – about a quarter of that city’s population – and destroying its ancient mud-built citadel.

“A divine authority told me to tell the people to make a general repentance. Why? Because calamities threaten us,” said Sedighi, Tehran’s acting Friday prayer leader.

Referring to the violence that followed last June’s disputed presidential election, he said, “The political earthquake that occurred was a reaction to some of the actions (that took place). And now, if a natural earthquake hits Tehran, no one will be able to confront such a calamity but God’s power, only God’s power. … So let’s not disappoint God.”

The Iranian government and its security forces have been locked in a bloody battle with a large opposition movement that accuses Ahmadinejad of winning last year’s vote by fraud.

Ahmadinejad made his quake prediction two weeks ago but said he could not give an exact date. He acknowledged that he could not order all of Tehran’s 12 million people to evacuate. “But provisions have to be made. … At least 5 million should leave Tehran so it is less crowded,” the president said.

Minister of Welfare and Social Security Sadeq Mahsooli said prayers and pleas for forgiveness were the best “formulas to repel earthquakes.”

“We cannot invent a system that prevents earthquakes, but God has created this system and that is to avoid sins, to pray, to seek forgiveness, pay alms and self-sacrifice,” Mahsooli said.

{ Newscenter}


  1. Just for the record it goes for KLALL YISROEL as
    well. We don’t need to learn this from them. Our woman are working at being more tzniusdig and more refined in the way they behave.

  2. Sounds like when yaakov avienu ran into esauv after leaving Lavon.He was scared of esauv not because of his might, but because of the zechut esauv might have (for kibbud av v’am). We too need to worry that we will have enough zechut to overpower this esauv when the time to comfront him will occur.

  3. “Matzav — Why use the term tznius for these Muslims? It has nothing to do with tznius”, asked “The Rov”.

    According to my Even-Shoshan Ivrit-English dictionary, the word ‘tznius’ means ‘modesty’.

    This is exactly the virtue that the Iranian Moslem clerics and our learned gadolim are urging our wives and daughters to achieve.

    I, for one, can see absolutely nothing wrong in that.

    But, of course, SOME people feel it necessary to drag politics and prejudice into every comment the post on this website.

    For the avoidance of any doubt, and before anyone rushes in to accuse me of this, I am NOT a “self-hating Jew” (whatever that may be), but a ‘yehudi yiras shamayim’.

  4. The Islamic culture does NOT have a healthy understanding of tznius, and the ideal requirements they probably promote to offset earthquakes likely are NOT found in Rabbi Falk shlita’s book, to say the least.

  5. #4 boy are you going to be upset when Moshiach comes and we have a Sanhedrin who will give malkos to a poor little 12 year old girl.
    What are you going to call them-Extremists?
    Just because something is Ossur, does not make the people who care about it, extremists.
    (P.s. my comment has no relevance the story above)

  6. I once heard a shiur on tsnius by Rav Salomon shlita, and he said that it’s a kitrug for us that the Muslim women dress more tsniusdik than we do.

  7. Look at an Arab woman. It doesnt look Tzanua it looks crazy. It looks scary. I get a shiver when I see one of them dressed like that. it looks like they have something to hide and that its beneath their dignity for you to see their face. Thats GAYVAH not Tznius!!!

  8. and they express themselves in many ways in the areas of dress that are left, such as shoes that no bas Yisroel should wear, etc.

  9. I guess I would just take the cleric more seriously if these guys also made pronouncements such as disasters are also happening because we need to improve interpersonal relations.