A young Iranian couple has been arrested after a marriage proposal in public that was captured on a video clip that went viral on social media. The police say the pair offended Islamic mores on public decency but were later released on bail. The video, which spread on social media last Friday, shows the young man standing in a heart-shaped ring of flower petals next to colourful balloons in a mall in the central Iranian city of Arak.
He proposes, and after the young woman says, “yes,” he slips a ring on her finger to cheers from a crowd of onlookers. The two were not identified. Mostafa Norouzi, deputy police chief in Arak, told the Shahrvand daily that it is unacceptable for the young “to do whatever is common in other places of the world and disregard mores, culture and religion” in Iran. The pair’s “offence is very clear and there is no need for explanation” about the reason for their arrest, Norouzi added.
Lawyer Isa Amini, head of the Tehran Bar Association, criticised the arrest and said he could not understand what the grounds were for such an action since the couple did not commit any wrongdoing. However, the semi-official and hard-line Fars news agency called the public proposal “shameful” and claimed it could promote, “immorality.” The agency demanded “harsh” punishment to stop such displays from being repeated by others.
Iranian hard-liners perceive public displays of affection as a result of the allegedly corrupt influence of Western culture that threatens morals in this conservative Islamic society. The Islamic Republic’s strict rules forbid gender mixing in public.
A journalist from Tehran shared the viral video on Twitter. Many criticized the arrest as 'harsh'.
📹 Man publicly proposes to woman at shopping mall in Arak, central #Iran
Both arrested for "marriage proposal in contradiction to islamic rituals... based on decadent Western culture," then released on bail pic.twitter.com/eKdlNX9Bte— Sobhan Hassanvand (@Hassanvand) March 8, 2019
the Iranian people need to rise up and rid themselves of these fanatics, all men living in the 10th century ruling over the future while living in the past. The world will never heal and evolve while religious fantastics rule.— maybe1day (@justathoughtjul) March 9, 2019
New in Iran.
Mullahs now arresting youth who propose to their loved ones in public.
Meanwhile, those who have thrown acid of ladies in Isfahan and Tehran are still free.@JZarif : Iran has the highest standards of democracy and Islamic regime is to be praised for that.— اوژن (@omidee) March 8, 2019
Most ridiculous laws, I totally agree that religion is the number one public enemy!— Veronica Fierro (@veritofierrot) March 9, 2019