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Saturday, April 28, 2007

What does NZ and Iran have in common?

You have to hand it to Iran, in terms of restricting ones rights, there can’t be anything closer to personal infringement than telling people what they can and can’t wear, and currently the Iranian regime is doing just that by cracking down and arresting women for wearing clothes they decide are immodest. How inane, how stupid how very NZ, see as much as we may be appalled by Iran wanting to ban woman for wearing short sleeved shirts, we here in NZ also want to ban women wearing veils – in Iran it’s prison if you show too much skin, in NZ it’s jail for not showing enough. Of course NZ hasn’t gone as far as to ban veils yet, but when we compare ourselves to Iran, one can’t help shake off the feeling that once again, regardless of justification, be it for the modesty of God or for cultural assimilation – it seems to be men telling women what they can or can’t wear.

Time to get over ourselves.

Crackdown in Iran over dress codes
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.
It is the talk of the town. The latest police crackdown on Islamic dress has angered many Iranians - male, female, young and old. But Iranian TV has reported that an opinion poll conducted in Tehran found 86% of people were in favour of the crackdown - a statistic that is surprising given the strength of feeling against this move. Police cars are stationed outside major shopping centres in Tehran. They are stopping pedestrians and even cars - warning female drivers not to show any hair - and impounding the vehicles and arresting the women if they argue back. Middle-aged women, foreign tourists and journalists have all been harassed, not just the young and fashionably dressed.


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