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Austin Cline

Fashion Crackdown in Iran

By July 13, 2004

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Watch out for the fashion police! In Iran right now, that warning really does meaning something: the government is trying to crack down on uppity women who have the gall to violate the nationís strict Islamic dress codes. Violators will have to wear burqas with mis-matched colors... oh, they aren't allowed to be colorful. So what will happen to them?

The BBC reports:

Witnesses said dozens of young women were held in the raids on shopping centres and shops in the capital. ... Shops selling fashion clothing for women - especially bright figure-hugging coats - were also targeted.
After winning parliamentary elections in February, hardliners warned they would not tolerate what they described as social corruption. ... Since the 1979 Islamic revolution, Iran's laws say all young women must wear the veil and a long coat that conceals their figures, or face fines or even imprisonment. ... The hardliners are angry that women are progressively defying the rules by wearing shorter, tighter and brighter coats, especially during the scorching summer months.

Iím not sure whether this will induce people to be more obedient or if it will just further radicalize the young people, driving them even more into the arms of reformers who are hoping to end the rule of these hardliners once and for all. That pretty much what happened under the Shah and what helped launch the 1979 Islamic Revolution. Some people just donít learn from history.

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