Iranian officials have banned dolls based off the popular television series, The Simpsons, reported a local newspaper Monday. From Homer to Lisa, dolls of the Simpsons family join Barbie and other toys on a blacklist as the Islamic Republic seeks to curtail the promotion of Western values.
Mohammad Hossein Farjoo, the secretary for policy-making at the Institute for the Intellectual Development of Children and Young Adults in Tehran, told the Sharq newspaper that the Simpsons television series enforces offensive and irreligious attitudes.
The Simpsons dolls are merchandise from an animated series, of which some episodes are even banned in Europe and America, Farjoo said as a representative for the agency that determines what toys are permissible in the country as reported by Reuters.
We do not want to promote this cartoon by importing the toys, Farjoo continued.
However, while the Simpsons toys are forbidden from gracing the homes of the Islamic Republic, the nation allows the sale of Spiderman and Superman dolls.
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They help oppressed people and they have a positive stance, Fajoo said according to the Associated Press.
Farjoo also added that dolls that look like adults or those that have distinguishable genitals are banned from Iranian stores. Similarly, dolls that have the voices of Western singers or toy kitchen sets that include glasses for alcohol are banned.
Imports of all kinds of dolls that display full adult figures are banned because they promote Western culture, Farjoo said.
The Simpsons dolls may not have exposed genitals nor are they human-like adults, but the toys are not the first to be banned in Iran in an attempt to fight the spread of Western values.
The Iranian morality police cracked down on the sale of Barbie dolls in the country a few weeks ago. While Barbies have been banned in Iran since 1996, the ruling was largely ignored and dolls were brought into the country illegally. Earlier this year, religious officials began patrolling toy shops and demanding Barbies be removed from the shelves in a crackdown of the toys.
Despite the ban on Barbies and Simpsons dolls, the Islamic Republic has failed to completely rid the nation of the toys. The Associated Press reports that Iran imported $57 million worth of toys in 2011, but an additional $20 million worth of toys were smuggled into the country. Many young people and children are able to obtain illegal products and gain insight into Western culture through toys, books, movies, music and more sold on the black market.
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