Friday, April 27, 2007

"Bad Hijab"

Unbeknown to me, at the beginning of every summer in the 'Republic' of Iran the (actual) fashion police make their rounds of the main streets and shopping centers, warning people about the consequences of not following the 'Hijab', the Islamic dress code. According to Islamic [or Iranian?] law, a woman who does not cover her hair and body in public can be fined or imprisoned for up to two months.

I guess this type of thing has happened every year since the Iranian revolution of 1979, but in recent years the enforcement of the dress code has been relatively lax. Not so this year. According to a BBC report, "Thousands of Iranian women have been cautioned over their poor Islamic dress this week and several hundred arrested in the capital Tehran in the most fierce crackdown on what's known as "bad hijab" for more than a decade." In a slightly bizzar twist, the story goes on to say that "One shopkeeper selling evening dresses told us the moral police had ordered him to saw off the breasts of his mannequins because they were too revealing."

In my humble opinion, that's a little bit, well, wrong, for lack of a better word. If Iran wants to be treated by the rest of the world like a "First World" country and not be on the human rights watch lists, then maybe a good place to start is by giving their citizens a little more freedom and liberty to make their own decisions and not constantly live in fear of their government. But that probably won't happen, because freedom and liberty lead to democracy, and that's not about to be allowed to happen.


Pookie said...

OK, I agree that seems a little extreme to me. However, they are enforcing the religeous principles that their country is based on. That is something that many (including you if I remember correctly)are in favor of in the U.S.

mnthomp said...

Yes, but our police (government) doesn't (usually) detain, put in jail, or otherwise harass our citizens for completely topical deviations from social norm. (Freedom of speech, religion, peaceful assembly, etc, etc...)