First Barbie; now the Mullahs are going after Bart Simpson

Oh, the humanity of it! Not content with banning Barbie dolls from Iranian toy stores, the religious police are now targeting the iconic Bart Simpson for banishment.


The Simpsons are corroding the morals of Iranian youth, an official said on Monday, as dolls based on Bart, Homer and the rest of the American cartoon family joined the shapely Barbie among Western toys targeted by a new crackdown in Tehran.

"The Simpsons dolls are merchandise from an animated series, of which some episodes are even banned in Europe and America," Mohammad Hossein Farjoo, whose agency oversees what Iranian children can play with, told the Sharq newspaper. He did not elaborate on what episodes might have been censored elsewhere.

"We do not want to promote this cartoon by importing the toys," added Farjoo, whose full title is Secretary for Policy-making at the Institute for the Intellectual Development of Children and Young Adults in Tehran.

Though Iran's economy is labouring under Western sanctions against its nuclear programme, foreign goods, including genuine and counterfeit toys like Barbie and the Simpsons, are widely sold. Merchants say new efforts to implement bans that have been in place before mean the merchandise is getting harder to obtain from wholesalers and shops prefer not to display the wares.

Like all series TV -- even excellent series TV -- The Simpsons TV show is a hit or miss proposition. Over the years, there has been some really raunchy stuff from the show. But there also has been brilliant social commentary.

None of that matters to the religious nutcases who continue to make a child's life in Iran a living hell. Banning dolls is not the way to instill moral values in children. Good parenting is.

And that includes no interference from the government.

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