An Illustration of Theocratic Thinking in Iran

This tidbit was in the latest KGS Nightwatch missive:

IIran: For the record. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei provided the following guidance in response to a question about whether it was sinful to use social media.   “In general, the use of social networking websites (such as Facebook, FriendFeed, Orkut, etc) is impermissible if their use entails a corrupt action (such as promoting corruption, spreading lies and false subjects) or if it creates fear of committing a sin, or if it boosts the enemies of Islam and Muslims, or if it is against the Islamic Republic’s laws.” Comment: Khamenei’s comment is worth noting by a Western Readership for two reasons. First is that it shows how Shi’i Muslims are expected to ask their role models for emulation – the ayatollahs — for guidance on everyday activities ranging from eating  to using social  media.   The second reason is that the Ayatollah’s response conflates fear of committing sin with violations of the laws of the Islamic Republic or just boosting the enemies of Islam. In this moral architecture, illegality and evil are the same. That means that a traffic offense or other violation of national law is a sin, just like failure to keep the Ramadan fast, for example. That is not how Iranian law works in daily practice, to be sure, but it is the thinking of the religious leadership and the extremely devout.  The West generally abandoned such thinking  before the Renaissance.

which is why Westerners, especially liberals, have such trouble understanding Iranian motivations.