A concert in the southern city of Shiraz was raided by an Islamist militia, and 104 people arrested, on the grounds of being ‘immoral’, reported the state-run daily newspaper Jam-e Jam on 27 May 2009.
Jam-e Jam newspaper carried pictures of drum sets and amplifiers seized in the raid and a group of young men photographed after the arrest sitting on the floor of an official-looking building with their backs to the camera.
The arrests were said to have been conducted by members of the Islamist Basij militia along with the Revolutionary Guards.
The party-makers were accused of being devil worshippers and drinking alcohol. Alcohol is banned in the Islamic republic, in accordance with a religious Islamic ban.
Hamid Atallah wrote in a comment on 27 May 2009: “I have seen the internet broadcast and saw absolutely nothing about Satan. Typical Western style party.”
The blogger Robert Paul Reyes wrote: “The young people at the rock concert may have been dancing and drinking booze, but I seriously doubt they were sucking blood and and engaging in Satanic rituals.”
The Revolutionary Guards generally regard rock music as ‘the devil’s music’, and Iranian authorities often link heavy metal music with devil worship. Over the past two years Iranian police and security officials have warned against the emergence of “Satanist” cults accused of corrupting the young, amid a tough nationwide crackdown on “unIslamic” attire and behavior.
In 2007 police arrested 230 people in a raid on an illegal indie rock concert in a garden near Tehran and several reports branded the party-goers as Satan-worshippers.
Robert Paul Reyes’s blog – 4 June 2009:
‘Revolutionary Guards Arrest Over 100 “Satan-Worshippers” At Rock Concert’
Al Arabiya / AFP – 27 May 2009:
‘Iranian police arrest 104 in “Satanist” party bust’