More hijab police

The BBC on priorities in Iran:

Outraged Iranians have taken to social media to condemn the decision to deploy 7,000 undercover police officers in Tehran to monitor the observance of the Islamic dress code.

7,000 spies to police something that should be nothing to do with the police in the first place – that’s some brilliant staff allocation. They should deploy another 7000 to monitor how people brush their teeth.

Tehran’s police chief announced on Monday that the role of the new unit is to:

  • Report women for the improper wearing of the hijab (and to ensure a woman’s veil covers her in public as required)
  • Report anyone who harasses women
  • Report anyone who plays loud music in their cars and violates traffic rules

Confused, aren’t they. Nobody should be harassing anybody. That could be a police matter. “Improper” wearing of the hijab? Not a thing. Not a real category. Not an issue. Not anyone else’s business. Not important. Not relevant to anything that matters. Not remotely in any way a matter for any police and policing.

The 7,000 officers will look out for violations of the above offences and text details of the incidents to the morality police to follow up. The subsequent warning could be verbal – or lead to arrests and fines.

Because women are livestock, and have no rights.

Some women fear that it could even backfire and lead to further pestering from strangers. In the past, vigilantes linked to the paramilitary forces of Basij, have sometimes carried out street patrols to enforce hijab and prevent “un-Islamic” behaviour.

Well of course it could. I don’t know why the Beeb says “even”; of course it could. Make it legal and socially acceptable to harass women over what they wear on their heads and you’ve declared open season on them.

Why fear women so much I wonder, said Facebook user “Judith Sugden-Smith”. The 7,000 “could be employed in constructive, productive jobs beneficial to society.”

“We wish they hired 700 people (10% of the 7,000) to fight against the widespread problems of corruption, bribery and smuggling said a post on the popular Facebook page, “My Stealthy Freedom”. The page advocates an end to compulsory hijab.

According to the mind-set of the authorities…not wearing the hijab is a worse offence than embezzlement“.

One message of support for the new unit came from user “Kiyan Aylia”. The user called on the morality police to “arrest these ladies without hijab and also their husbands because they are supporting them”. Then “clean my Iran of these [people] by sending them in exile to the West. Let them enjoy their life there,” Kiyan Aylia said.

Be careful what you wish for.


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