Women attend Friday prayers in Tehran February 4, 2011..
(photo credit: REUTERS/RAHEB HOMAVANDI)
In reaction to what is being termed "increasing defiance" of the compulsory wearing of hijabs, Iran has hired 2,000 new "morality police," the Telegraph reported on Friday.
“The issue of hijab is not a simple matter, but rather a serious political and security issue for our country,” Mohammad Abdulahpour, the commander of Gilan province’s Revolutionary Guards unit, said.
As part of a pilot program in the northern province of Gilan, groups of six women will form units who have the power to arrest and detain those who they decide aren’t following the dress code laws. This new task force comes on the heels of growing backlash from women in Iran who have been arrested for taking off their head coverings in public to protest the law, according to the report.
One group that has caused the morality police ire is an activist group called “White Wednesday,” which supports women wearing white and discarding their hijabs, the Telegraph reported.
“We do not wish to show a violent image of our religion, but models and promoters of vile fashions not only defy the hijab, but are nowadays appearing almost naked on our streets," said Cleric Rasoul Falahati, a representative of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei, as reported by the Telegraph.
Iran has had various forms of the morality police since 1979, but the idea of increasing their numbers, especially with all female troops, is a sign they are taking a stricter approach. Iran's police have even installed cameras on highways to expose women who take off their head coverings while driving.
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