Barely two months after Ayatollah ‘Alam Al-Hodeh proclaimed in a sermon that “women who are unveiled or wear tight clothing are more dangerous than evil animals,” the crackdown on “improper” clothing in Iran continues. Majid Abhari, an adviser on society issues, claims that “60% of Tehran’s residents violate the Islamic dress code.” As a result, police enforcement of dress code this year has been increased to 70,000 in Tehran alone, the largest of Iran’s annual summer crackdowns.
Beginning last month, Iran launched a “moral security plan,” which now gives traffic police authority to issue “un-Islamic dress code” fines, a charge that up until now, was only given by the country’s morality police.
“Those with a history of violating the hijab and the manufacturers of inappropriate clothing will be dealt with,” Ahmadreza Radan, deputy commander of security forces, told the semi-official Mehr News Agency. “Tight clothing for men or women, headscarves that do not properly cover the hair, short and inappropriate outfits, and symbols of deviant movements and satanic groups will be targeted by the officials.”
Like many before it, the current crackdown in Iran is not so much about Western symbols and fashion as it is about politics and control. And with summer temperatures going up into the 90s in Tehran, police forces have increased to make sure that lighter, cooler fabrics are not in violation of the country’s dress code. Men usually get escorted back home, but women who get caught are lectured on Islamic clothing and values. Those who are detained must sign a pledge before they are released to not dress improperly.
Yet these crackdowns are not just limited to fines and lectures; they can also include forceful arrest, as in the case of the three citizen videos below:
A woman trying to escape arrest in Hamadan
Citizens protesting a girl’s arrest in Tabriz
A mother screaming as her 13-year-old daughter is arrested
Photo courtesy of Hamed Saber via Flickr