A van, a few bearded men and one or two women in black chadors

The BBC reports on a new app in Iran that warns people of the location of the “morality police” aka Ershad.

Ershad’s mobile checkpoints which usually consist of a van, a few bearded men and one or two women in black chadors, are deployed in towns across Iran and appear with no notice.

Women?! But isn’t that immoral? Unless they’re related to all the men.

Ershad personnel have a very extensive list of powers ranging from issuing warnings and forcing those they accuse of violating Iran’s Islamic code of conduct, to make a written statement pledging to never do so again, to fines or even prosecuting offenders.

Ershad graphic

It’s such a horrendous way to live I can’t even really imagine it. Or maybe I can but I turn away because it’s too awful.

The range of offences which Ershad patrols deal with are extensive. From wearing too much makeup in public to wearing too little Hijab or head cover for women, to what is called western influenced hair style and trendy clothing for men.

Just exactly what amounts to immoral behaviour, can be widely open to the interpretation of the Ershad agent on the spot. So buying your clothes and or makeup from authorised shops, won’t necessarily keep you out of trouble. If an Ershad agent sees the combination unfit according the Sharia code of conduct, you can still end up being warned or even prosecuted.

Also, if you’re caught walking or riding with your opposite sex friend, you still could end up being stopped, questioned and prosecuted by Ershad because that’s another violation of Islamic code of conduct.

It’s all clothes and sex. Being kind, helping people who need help, not pushing people into puddles – never mind all that, just arrest that woman for having some hair showing.

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