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No place for Sufism in our Shia country: official

TEHRAN, Nov. 2 (Mehr News Agency) -- There is no place for the promotion of Sufism in Iran, the executive director of the committee for the Rumi international congress Mohsen Parviz said in a press release published on Friday.

The congress was held in Tehran and Tabriz last week to commemorate the 800th birth anniversary of the Persian poet and mystic Molana Jalal ad-Din Rumi.

The press release was published after the congress was allegedly criticized for staging performances of Sama, the Sufi practice of gathering to listen to religious poetry that is sung, often accompanied by ecstatic dance or other rituals.

"There is no place in the congress schedule for these types of dramatic movements which promote or approve Sufi behavior. Only two ten-minute reed flute and setar performances had been arranged for the event, none of which were related to Sufi philosophy," Parviz, who is also the Deputy Culture Minister for Cultural Affairs, stated.

"There is no place for the promotion of the Mevlevi sect and Sufism in our Shia country," he noted.

Parviz said that the objections refer to the scenes of Sama performances, which had been broadcast from the IRIB's TV channels during reports of the congress programs. However he gave no details about the alleged protesters.

He said that these pictures were not related to the congress and had been taken from Sama performances abroad.

However, the Iranian traditional music band Shams gave a series of concerts, combining their music with Sama performances by dervishes from Konya, at the Sadabad Palace in August which were most warmly received by the audiences.

... Payvand News - 11/3/07 ... --

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