Saturday, October 25, 2014


Transmission

Iran's Supreme Leader 'Exercises' His Authority

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei
Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei
If the mountain will not come to Muhammad, it's said, then Muhammad must go to the mountain.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei seems to have taken that adage to heart. On his Twitter feed, Iran's supreme leader (or whoever is ghostwriting his tweets) reminisces about his childhood and urges young people in his country to participate in sports, saying that he himself often goes mountain climbing (by which he probably means hiking) around Tehran.

Khamenei alludes to the mistaken belief that Muslims should not exercise or go to the gym due to religious restrictions on dress and the intermingling of the sexes:


Though religious precautions must be taken, Muslims are encouraged to exercise and participate in any activities that promote physical and mental health.

Khamenei should be applauded for dispelling any myths that still exist, especially among young people, that exercise is frowned upon in Islam.

And he may have unknowingly inspired a whole slew of Iranians to take to the hills around Tehran in the hopes of running into the supreme leader on the trails.

-- Grant Podelco
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Written by RFE/RL editors and correspondents, Transmission serves up news, comment, and the odd silly dictator story. While our primary concern is with foreign policy, Transmission is also a place for the ideas -- some serious, some irreverent -- that bubble up from our bureaus. The name recognizes RFE/RL's role as a surrogate broadcaster to places without free media. You can write us at transmission+rferl.org

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