The New York Times

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Iranian Cleric: Promiscuous Women Cause Quakes
The New York Times

A senior Iranian cleric says women who wear immodest clothing and behave promiscuously 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 their chastity and spread adultery in society, which (consequently) increases earthquakes, » Hojatoleslam Kazem Sedighi was quoted as saying by Iranian media. Sedighi is Tehran’s acting Friday prayer leader.

« 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. »

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