Shahrzad News: Melodic birdsong in Tehran’s popular parks is soon to be drowned out by the deafening sound of sermons and chanting crowds during Friday prayers.
Already 16 of the capital’s 1600 parks are used for the purpose, but now Abdulmoghim Nasehi, the head of Tehran’s Religious Activities department, has proposed that more parks be used “to keep Satan away.”
“After the arrival of Islam in Iran, the tradition of Friday prayers and muezzins reading verses from the holy book in loud voices became commonplace all over the country, and helped keep Satan away from our cities and villages. We must now make sure that the same sound will be heard in all the capital’s parks,” said Nasehi.
Currently 336 of Tehran’s parks have their own mosques, run by private companies employed by the municipality. The parks are modern and well-tended and many local residents take advantage of the peaceful atmosphere to take their daily exercise or eat picnics.