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Tied down by custom: Iran cops target ‘un-Islamic’ ladies

Published time: May 31, 2012 13:36
Edited time: May 31, 2012 17:36
AFP Photo / Fayez Nureldine

AFP Photo / Fayez Nureldine

First impressions are half the battle, they say. Never so true as in Iran, where female booth attendants selling men’s ties have become targets of police crackdowns on clothing labeled un-Islamic.

­At an international food exhibition featuring such countries as France, India, Italy, Turkey and China, ladies “not properly observing the hijab” and selling ties drove police to shut down some 80 booths, Iranian deputy police chief Ahmad Reza Radan was quoted as saying in the Mardomsalari newspaper.

While the women had been warned, they “did not take it seriously – that is why we shut them (the booths) down,” the head of police, Esmail Ahmadi Moqadam, added.

Iranian women are required to wear a scarf covering their hair and a coat reaching below the knee. Heavy make-up and nail polish are to be avoided. Violators of traditional customs are often arrested and taken to police stations where they are fined and made to sign statements promising to dress properly in future.

Police also appear to have stepped up measures to enforce a ban on the sale of ties, seen as glamorous symbols of Western culture. Nevertheless, ties often feature at such ceremonies as weddings and funerals.

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