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Monday, December 26, 2011

Iran arrests fashion designers; wants to impose uniform on women

People of Shambhala

Monday, December 26, 2011

I was struck, about a year ago, when I heard an Iranian activist complain that Western media "goes on about" the restrictions on fashion in that country. Perhaps she thought it trivialized the plight of Iranian girls and women. It is a state, after all, in which they are systematically raped by guards and police after arrest for such "crimes" as protesting in support of greater democracy -- or any democracy at all.

But to those of us in the West accustomed to wearing whatever we want, the idea of "morality police" arresting women for showing the front of their hair, or for wearing clothing deemed to be too colorful and life-affirming, is extremely sinister and indicative of the nature of the perverse and totalitarian Government that oppresses its people.

Nearly 70 percent of Iran's 78 million people are under 35 years-old. They overwhelming want liberal democracy and freedom. They also want to wear clothing that they like -- including tight fitting coats. Hijabs are preferred showing as much hair as possible. Should that be a "crime"? President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the regime think so. 

As the Washington Post notes, "70 fashion designers were rounded up in November [in Iran], and more than 400 shops selling “improper” dresses were closed." President Ahmadinejad wants to promote government-approved clothes for women, although even these designs are considered too Western by some hard liners.