By Advocate.com Editors
Originally published on Advocate.com September 18 2002 12:00 AM ET
A controversial book discussing the alleged homosexual tendencies of some of Persia's great literary figures has been ordered off the shelves by Iran's judiciary, the publisher told Agence France-Presse Monday.
The book, Shahed-Bazi (Witness Play), by Cyrus Shamisa, had gained initial approval from the ministry of culture and Islamic guidance, but the publisher has since been ordered to collect all copies on sale. "We have already collected around 400 copies following the judicial order," Ferdos publishing house director Javad Yassinian said, adding that some 1,600 still needed to be tracked down.
In his work, Shamisa discusses what he considers to be homosexual sentiments present in Persian writings and poetry--touching on a taboo topic whose practice is strictly illegal in modern-day Iran. The publisher refused to elaborate on the content of the book--a copy of which could not be tracked down--and the author refused to give any comment.