Hojatoleslam Kazem Sedighi

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Hojatoleslam Kazem Sedighi is a senior Iranian cleric and seismologist.

Among his contributions to seismology is his theorization about a little known cause of earthquakes. On April 16, 2010 he instructed worshipers in Tehran that they should adhere to strict codes of modesty to protect themselves from untoward seismic disturbances: "Many women who do not dress modestly lead young men astray and spread adultery in society which increases earthquakes...What can we do to avoid being buried under the rubble? There is no other solution but to take refuge in religion and to adapt our lives to Islam's moral codes."[1]

Sedighi's claim has been the subject of a fascinating natural experiment proposed by Jennifer McCreight.[2] Her tongue-in-cheek experiment requires that women demonstrate the amazing power of their immodesty in the same timezone,[3] which would mean she and her sisters not responsible for an earthquake in Taiwan.[4] However, repeating the same experiment would increase confidence in research findings.

This is not the first time that Islamic preachers have blamed women for natural disasters. It seems they were also responsible for the Asian tsunami.[5]

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