Iran generated headlines around the world last week and sparked a vicious backlash after its government did the unthinkable: they made Zumba illegal.
But, as Haaretz points out, the Muslim clerics who hope to purge Iran of “Zumba and any harmonious movement or body-shaking instruction” might find sympathy among their sworn enemies: ultra-Orthodox rabbis.
Four years ago, a rabbinical court in the settlement community of Beitar Illit ruled that Zumba and its catchy Latin dance-pop music is “at odds with both the ways of the Torah and the holiness of Israel.” Zumba-inclined women in Beitar Illit went elsewhere for their fix.
In 2013, a New York area rabbi linked Zumba to prostitution.
Utra-Orthodox women have responded by sanitizing the lyrics, leading to a “Jewmba” craze in the UK.