Beware Iran’s Fashion Police

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Tehran’s police are operating a three-stage process in implementing the new wave of a crackdown on dress deemed to be un-Islamic, which started with some intensity on July 23.

First, women are given a verbal warning on the street. If the problem is not resolved there, they are taken to the police station for “guidance” and to sign a vow not to repeat the offence. Should this be unsuccessful, their case is handed to the judiciary. Arrested women [are taken] to a “center for combating vice”.

“Our method is through guidance and via words,” according to a female Iranian police officer, who by law was not allowed to give her name. “We do not face an instance that prompts us to be physical. We do not have any bats or sprays. In the toughest instances we may grab her hand and ‘guide’ her to the minibus,” she said.

One young passerby [rounded] on the police for devoting such resources to moral crackdowns rather than other social problems as a police minibus filled with “badly veiled” women sped away. “Shame on you; look what you’ve done! The people’s problem is not this! Go fix your traffic situation. People are stuck in traffic for hours; go fix other real problems,” she shrieks.

There was already considerable controversy inside Iran when the first stage of the “plan to increase security in society” was launched in April.

Many conservatives have applauded the drive, but moderates have publicly questioned whether Iran would be better off tackling poverty and crime rather than slack dressing.

Just before the new crackdown started, popular television host Farzad Hasani grilled Tehran’s police chief Ahmad Reza Radan about the drive on his talk show, accusing the police of “not differentiating between people and thugs.”

And old woman in Vanak Square echoed the sentiment, “Our youth have no peace of mind. They are afraid to go out, they are afraid to go out, they are afraid that if they go out they will be taken to the police. Aren’t they saying that there is freedom?”

I also understand that there has been a crackdown on men who have "un-Islamic" haircuts. I guess mullets are out of the question.

The Jordan Times, August 16, 2007


Anonymous Emily said...

I'm reading Farah Pahlavi's book right now, along with the book "Reading Lolita in Tehran". It is so sad to me that Iran made much progress in the (esp. in the'60s and '70s) regarding women's rights and general freedoms. For ex, did you know that in Jan 7, 1936 Reza Shah the Great banned the veil? I hate to see women given freedom and then have it taken away. Like your other topic of forced morality.

8/30/2007 9:55 PM  
Blogger Khaled Al-Sharif said...

U3baal Jordan!

9/01/2007 4:41 PM  
Blogger MommaBean said...

Man, no mullets! That's just too bad. The women thing, well you know, at least they could wear mullets under their veil... :)

9/01/2007 6:40 PM  

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