Yesterday hundreds of newspapers across the globe reported on the somewhat ashtonishing assertion by a senior Iranian cleric (one of the chappies who exercise absolute control in the Iranian theocracy) that by dressing immodestly and acting promiscuously Iranian women are responsible for bringing earthquakes upon Iran. I agree it does seem rather unlikely, but delve a little deeper and one begins to wonder if the cleric gentleman is on to something here. Cast your minds back to how in 1962 Iran witnessed the highly destructive Bou'in-Zahra earthquake. Now consider how 62% of all Iranian university students are women. Elsewhere, in a recent poll 62% of female respondents in Iran, while eschewing feminism, nonetheless sought greater women's rights, while 62% of Iranian women in a recent (and possibly rather unimportant) Internet poll admitted they were considering leaving Iran. A theme seems to be developing here 62 = women = evil.
But wait, there's more! It is surely no coincidence Iran's arch-enemy Israel's is celebrating its 62nd birthday this year. Spookily, David Ben-Gurion was 62 years old when he became the Jewish state's first leader. No wonder the pioneer psychologist Sigmond Freud famously had a curious unnatural fear of the number 62. But the clerics are fighting back, taking on these twin forces of evil and seeking to turn the number 62 to their own advantage. Thus, the mineral Samarium (used in nuclear fusion and apparently helping Iran develop a nuclear capacity) has the atomic number 62. Notably, too, in two national elections didn't President Ahmadinejad win with the backing of 62% of Iranian voters each time?
It can't possibly all be a coincidence, can it? Well actually, yes (especially if, like me you've sadly spent your evening trawling the Internet for entries combining 62 with various words just for a cheap laugh). Indeed, like the cleric's assertion about women causing earthquakes, it's all utter nonsense, much like the Iranian President's regular assertion Israel should be wiped from the face of the map. No wonder, then, Israel is somewhat concerned about these Iranian mullahs developing a bomb.