I was watching Omid Djalili the other day (and what more reliable source could there be) and he mentioned that Iranian carpetmakers will deliberately make an error in their designs, because only Allah is perfect.
I realise that discussing Islamic theology online is fraught with peril, particularly when I don’t know the first thing about it, but that seems a little presumptuous to me. Surely their innate human fallibility should ensure unintentional flaws, rather than them having to rely on deliberate mistakes to disfigure the carpets.
However, I’d be more concerned if this practice was replicated in other sections of the Iranian economy. Perhaps the reason Tehran does not have a flourishing automobile industry may well be down to people suspecting that the brakes might be faulty as a gesture of man’s imperfection.
Imagine if you were in an Iranian aeroplane. You’d probably be delighted to find that your seat adjuster or TV screen were broken, in the hope that you’d located the deliberate mistake. But you couldn’t be entirely certain that it wasn’t just a routine malfunction and that the undercarriage wasn’t deficient.
Perhaps the reason the US is so exercised by Ahmadinejad’s focus on nuclear power is not that they fear it being adapted for military usage, but simply that a meltdown may result from excessive fervency amongst its designers.