Iran has banned women from dancing, cycling, watching soccer matches, listening to certain music and now … Zumba.
The Islamic Republic’s Shiite leaders announced this week that, under religious law, the 17-year-old Colombian dance aerobics craze is forbidden.
Ali Majdara, the head of public sports in Iran, issued a statement Sunday banning “Zumba and any harmonious movement or body shaking instruction.” The ban applies to public and private gyms, clubs and classes. The announcement came just days after Majdara’s Iran Sport for All federation provoked an outcry on Twitter by calling for the ban.
While some have tried to justify teaching or listening to music as legal under Islamic law in Iran, he said, “They could not change the mainstream of the clerical establishment.”
There’s also the fear among religious leaders that Zumba is corrupting Iranian men, who can watch videos of classes posted online. Some Iranian Zumba instructors’ videos already have been deemed pornographic and blocked by authorities since the ban.