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The Hijab Police? 

34 comments:

Anonymous said...

I agree with the fashion police a little bit. Cause some of what these ladies are wearing wont be considered islamic from any angle. I feel sorry also for these ladies cause during shah's time they were sent to jail for wearing hijab now that the population has got used to not wearing hijab they are asked to wear one. lollllll. Beside that if all your hair is showing and u just have put a small piece of cloth on your head that wont be considered as hijab. Cause then all those ladies who wear bandana in america should be also considered as wearing hijab. And that lady said i am wearing a mantau.That was a sleeveless jacket and not a mantaue.

February 16, 2008 7:32 PM Samira said...

Not necessarily feeling it. I would feel funny if it happened to me ; )

Although the sisters are not rude (at least they try to ask them questions)who knows what happens on The BUS! ; )

Plus a lot of the lot shirts/dresses that you show on this site would be considered inappropriate. Why is it necessary for sisters to wear all black chadors while men walk around in all the colors of the rainbow? Is it uniformity of dress that we are seeking or modesty?

A lot of contemporary Islamic scholars consider this type of enforcement of dress code the when in Rome rule. Like the no shirt, no service thing. So that when you go to an Islamic country you are expected to cover in the ways that are defined as appropriate.

In my opinion, in a lot of ways this is what happens when there is an enforced, compulsive dress code. People walk around with a shoe lace on their heads because they aren't really doing it for internalized feelings. Allah knows best.

February 16, 2008 7:53 PM Anonymous said...

im glad to see that it is women talking to other women. because i always heard of iran tellig women they are not dressed right but i originially thought it was men bringing it to their attention

February 16, 2008 9:10 PM Anonymous said...

My dear sisters. It is such laws and policies that make a woman not want to wear her hijab. Some sisters that move to the States from Iran (and other Arab contries) have abandoned this beautiful religion for something else and took their hijabs off. Believe me, even Iranian men don't agree with somebody constantly stoping women on the street to "remind" them that they are not dressed appopriatelly or in accordance with Islamic laws. PuHlease :-/. This is pathetic attempt to control people. I wear my hijab because I want to and because it is prescribed by the Qur'an. IF a woman chooses not to wear her hijab. Well...we know some possible consequences of that. Let her figure it out for herself.

February 17, 2008 12:07 AM aisha said...

What happened to "no compulsion in religion?"

February 17, 2008 2:24 AM Anonymous said...

Salaam,

I'd like to point out that this is NOT Islamic behvaviour. Since when did the Prophet and Sahaba walk around telling women what to wear and what not to wear? If you force people to adopt the hijab, you're just going to make them hate it.

February 17, 2008 5:13 AM Anonymous said...

Narrated Abu Burda:

That his father said, "The Prophet sent Mu'adh and Abu Musa to Yemen telling them. 'Treat the people with ease and don't be hard on them; give them glad tidings and don't fill them with aversion; and love each other, and don't differ." Sahih Bukhari

Are the Iranian 'fashion police' following the Prophet's advice?

February 17, 2008 5:49 AM Adela said...

Honestly, the lady had a point that some of the outfits were a bit too attention getting for their society. However, in the US, those outfits would probably not draw attention among a younger crowd or on the street. I did like the fact that it was a woman discussing the issues, although she reminded me of a teacher I had that asked questions to make a statement, not to ask a question. The bus would be a little scary though. Just me, but I would be so embarrassed to be stopped by the fashion police lady! But I'm also not a girl to let my hair show either.

February 17, 2008 8:51 AM Anonymous said...

I think the ladies are saying these things in very appropriate ways - in the same way that our Prophet (s) taught us to remind each other with ease. Does it not say multiple times in the Quran to enjoin the good and forbid the wrong? if we don't look out for our brothers and sisters in Islam, who will? obviously there is a difference if this was done in a rude or aggressive way, that would not be appropriate or Islamic...but we (including myself) could always use gentle reminders such as these.

Thanks for posting this one Precious Modesty - iA I'm going to take extra care that what I wear today represents Islam in a positive, beautiful way and also serves to strengthen my own Iman, insha'Allah!

February 17, 2008 11:05 AM Anonymous said...

For goodness sake, these women talk as if they were wearing bikinis! One of the curses of the Ummah of our times, is concerning ourselves with what does not concern us. How incredibly rude it is to stop women in the street and say 'what you are wearing is wrong'. I wish they would spend their time and energy on more important things, like tackling corruption, domestic violence and violations of human rights.

February 17, 2008 12:52 PM Anonymous said...

I don't know how I feel about this really. It's nice that they are getting "reminders" (and from women instead of men)...and I believe the "fashion police" really do have the best intentions. BUT, it is strict enforcement like this that makes people despise wearing hijab. I didn't see much wrong with that they were wearing per say, but their scarves were very sloppy with hair hanging out everywhere.

February 17, 2008 2:15 PM Amanda said...

I don't agree with the way iranian women are FORCED to wear hijab, no matter if they are muslimas or not. What about "there's no compulsion in religion"? I understand that they have to respect the culture, but... it's just not right. We shouldn't be forced to wear anything if we are not ready or don't want to. Allah knows better, end He is the only one who can judge...

February 17, 2008 3:23 PM Melissa said...

I also think that forcing the hijab on women makes them hate it. I have some friends who are taking English classes and there are some Iranian women who told them 'You don't have to wear that here in the US, take it off, it's not required'. Of course, my friends know why they are wearing hijab, and they will not remove it.
But, it's sad how many do not understand it, and think it's just a law or custom in certain lands.

I think they could spend more time and effort/money on something other than 'fashion police' how about educating the population on Islam, instead of telling someone what not to wear? In time, if someone has knowledge of Islam, they will understand hijab and inshallah start wearing it for the right reasons.

February 17, 2008 4:22 PM Anonymous said...

Assalamalikum sisters. I dont think what the fashion police is doing wrong. Maybe that might prevent you from entering hell fire. A lot of ladies dont wearhijab cause they say they feel hot. Girls hellfire is hotter then anything you can imagine on this earth.

February 17, 2008 9:05 PM Nur said...

Great post KIma, look at all the feedbacks :D
I live in Australia and when I had my cousin (a girl whom I hadnt seen in more than a year) over, I didn't put hijab on. But when I put it on to go out, she commented 'Oh, you still wear it. I thought you would've left it once you got married.' I was shocked when I heard that but when I thought about it, I guess I understood. My father was a strict religious man. He never forced hijab on me once I hit puberty but he always reminded me of the reasons why I should wear it. I have never felt compelled to don the Hijab, I choose to wear it because I know it is the right thing to do from the constant reminders. And alhamdulillah my husband is on the same page. Perhaps my cousin thought all this time I wore hijab due to pressure from my father and would abandon it as soon as I got married and left home. I wish she could see the beauty of hijab, so I suppose reminders are great. What we should do however is open our hearts to consider them instead of feeling berated or chastised by those who are trying to spread good words. Allahu 'alem

February 17, 2008 9:28 PM Anonymous said...

Just a note - "no compulsion in religion" does not apply in this case. Its unfortunately that this has been taken so out of context as one sound bite, especially when we all know Islam can't be explained with a soundbite!

"no compulsion in religion" refers to people not being forced into picking a religion to practice/follow - but once you are a Muslim there are certain precepts and laws we >>must<< follow. So I think we should be cautious when we use the phrase "no compulsion in religion" and remember its true context rather than say it to justify our opinions on unrelated topics... just my two cents - perhaps someone can look up a tafsir and correct me if I am wrong, I only added this point because of what I've learned from my own studies and I wanted to share the knowledge =)

February 17, 2008 10:00 PM Nur said...

Agreed anonymous! 'no compulsion in religion' means you can't force others into accepting Islam, not picking what you want and don't want to do when you are already a Muslim. The Quran and sunnah have clearly stated what we are supposed to follow and avoid, so we can't say 'there is no compulsion to cover in Islam'. Allahu 'alem

February 17, 2008 10:19 PM Anonymous said...

Well, I may be in the minority, but I have absolutely no problem with what this female fashion police was doing. I'm sorry but when you're Muslim there are certain rules you have to adhere to and I dont care if you're being told in public. It is the DUTY of a muslim to inform another muslim of correct Islamic practices. We need to get western thinking out of our heads and start thinking Islamically because Islam isn't a religion you mold into what you want. I think these women were in perfect accordance with Islam and they used a peaceful means of doing it. 

February 17, 2008 11:45 PM Anonymous said...

i think that it would have been much more appropriate if she (the policewoman) had pulled her aside and quietly explained to her the islamic dress code rather than accusing people of being unislamic in public and intimidating them. its obvious that the policewoman had good intentions, but i dont think she was employing proper islamic behavior.

February 18, 2008 12:26 AM amanda said...

About "there's no compulsion in religion", I guess we all know what it means...
But in Iran you are forced to follow islam, no matter what. I have an iranian friend who is christian, and she told me that everybody IS FORCED TO learn arabic and read the Quran in school, and every woman has to cover the head.
And, as I'm a flight attendant, whenever i fly to Tehran I see something really curious: at the beggining at the flight, only a few girls wear hijab, and you see girls wearing the clothes that they want, but prior to disembark, all of them HAVE TO wear a manteau and cover the head, because they can be arrested if they don't do so. No matter if they are muslimas or not...
I think this is the most effective to keep people away from islam...

Girls, don't take me wrong, I am muslim, I agree with guidance to sisters who don't dress in a modest way, but Iran is a different story... We all get angry when hear about schools not allowing girls to wear hijab in schools, but forcing them to wear is the same thing. I think these girls have the right to decide.

February 18, 2008 7:31 AM Anonymous said...

This doesn't make me feel happy even though I wear a hijab. I still feel when one is forced and confined, one will rebel. Let them be free and they'll see the beauty.

February 18, 2008 8:48 AM Zizi said...

I'm not going to comment on laws requiring or disallowing hijab. I just wanted to state that I have seen these "fashion police" in action and they are VERY respectful. I have observed them for long periods of time and even on the bus I can see the "police" talking and laughing with the ladies as they are fixing their hijab. Just wanted to add my experience.

February 18, 2008 1:38 PM Anonymous said...

Salaam alaikum ,
Ok Im glad these people doing the questioning are quiet polite and stuff but I dont think in Islam your supposed to force people to dress a certain way. Islam gives us the right to choose and I believe that by forcing these people to dress this way discourages them. They want to rebel. I myself wear hijab but do not like anyone to tell me I have to....I do it for Allah and my religion not for the police. But who knows maybe this is a better way with the way people dress nowadays. InshAllah it will work out in the end.

February 18, 2008 2:31 PM Erica said...

As Salaamu Alaikum sisters! I don't think there is anything wrong with the fashion police. The sister seems to have the positive attitude to act as a much needed reminder. This is an Islamic country, so to me it seems to be needed. I don't agree with people being forced to wear hijab, but if you're gonna' wear it do it right, not half way. What's the point of the scarf if half your hair is still showing??? That just doens't make sense to me. Things like that should be corrected and if someone feels embarrassed or uncomfortable being stopped..they should. Maybe that sisters reminder will open up their heart to love to cover...or at least obey Allah's command to wear hijab....correctly lol. It's not the end of the world....if it feels like that for you then maybe the issue is something else. If you are truely happy, covering your hair should be the furthest thing from you mind.

February 18, 2008 5:37 PM Khauba said...

My only question would be what model (Islamic) do we have to justify this type of behavior?

Yes, we may all be able to point to hadith or Qur'an that discusses the woman's dress but where can we find evidence that supports the detention of people (mainly women) because of dress? Or that mandates that all women (whether they be Jewish or Christian) wear a headscarf? And by detention I mean anything ranging from stopping someone for a moment or keeping them confined in jail.

Sheikh Hamza Yusuf recently wrote that our predecessors were surrounded by bare-breasted women and yet we throw a fit if a bit of someone's hairline is showing. Why?
In my opinion, it is because we are more concerned with everybody else's bodies than with the purification of OUR OWN SOULS & the genuine practice of adab. Instead, of cornering sisters about pieces of ponytails these women could be teaching someone how to read or feeding the poor. Perhaps they are doing that too but if anyone knows about the economy in Iran they are aware of the serious issues with unemployment and poverty. Where are the police for that!?

Where do we separate between the practices of modern despotic countries (who in many ways use Islam as a means of power and control) and the practices of our prophet (sall' allahu alaihi wa salaam) and the companions (radee allahu anhum)?

February 18, 2008 7:23 PM Samira said...

A Part of Ibn Kathir's tafsir:
No Compulsion in Religion

Allah said,

[
لاَ إِكْرَاهَ فِى الدِّينِ]

(There is no compulsion in religion), meaning, "Do not force anyone to become Muslim, for Islam is plain and clear, and its proofs and evidence are plain and clear. Therefore, there is no need to force anyone to embrace Islam. Rather, whoever Allah directs to Islam, opens his heart for it and enlightens his mind, will embrace Islam with certainty. Whoever Allah blinds his heart and seals his hearing and sight, then he will not benefit from being forced to embrace Islam.''

The question still is can someone force another person to do something? And that is why people understand no compulsion in religion to be a statement not only about the right to choose one's religion but also about the extent to which you should force someone to do something. Because we notice here (in Ibn Kathir's tafsir) that the ultimate way to an embrace of Islam is Allah's will or how does it benefit one to be submitting to the will of a government or some ladies rather than to the will of Allah ta ala?

In my opinion it wouldn't benefit them or lead them to jannah because they still have not willfully surrendered to Allah. While it might make the society "Look Muslim" it doesn't mean that there are actual people believing in their hearts which is why we still find people committing the major sins because their is no sincerity or religion for them is just a "look the part" thing.

My opinion. I have no training in the science of tafsir. Insha'Allah I will learn more ; )

February 18, 2008 7:57 PM Celeritas said...

There is a difference between encouraging others to dress modestly because dressing immodestly is a social nuisance and encouraging others to dress modestly as you believe that this is a religious requirement. I am not sure what the fashion police's aim is.

If it is to avoid social nuisance, it is clear that the short manteau, trouser combination with thin revealing scarf was not causing a social nuisance, other women walked passed the fashion police without any reaction from the general public. So this justification for policing is not grounded in the social reality of modern Iran.

If the policing is to encourage women to wear covering clothing according to the belief that modesty involves a certain style of dress to be worn, then it should not be forced or encouraged on someone. If a women is forced or pressured into wearing full covering or even just a scarf on her head, she will do it out of fear of people and the love of pleasing people, not out of the love of Allah and the love of pleasing Allah. It is reasonable to expect a certain level of decorum in clothing worn in public but this is true in all societies not for explicitly religious reasons.

On a personal note, it is interesting that the women tourists at the end said they were from Kermanshah, part of Kurdistan where I am sure the local people would not consider wearing the manteau or chador a social norm. It is the tendency of Kurds to wear lighter scarves and show some of their hair, with their national dress being bright and often covered with mirroring, jewels and sequins. Additionally many Kurds are not Muslim so would not wish to dress in accordance with Muslim Iranian interpretations of modesty.

Thankyou Kima for sharing this video with us.

February 18, 2008 9:56 PM Anonymous said...

thank you for this video. the only problem i have though is that the hijab and muslim women become politicized, especially in the west; the other is what happens to the people (as mentioned above) who are not muslims or iranians? i'm also not living in iran, so the fashion police aren't exactly banging down my door so to speak, LOL. but if i were living in iran, i would sure appreciate a more welcoming approach; maybe passing out some "approved" hijabs or having posters in public places if they are to enforce this dress code so strictly. i dunno, i feel kind of iffy on the whole "policing" bit; what if you were brought up in a very secular way? how are you supposed to know what hijab *really* is? if Allah doesn't want people to be forced into this, and sees their is no gain, then..?

February 18, 2008 11:54 PM Shabana said...

Although i think it is good for the sisters to remind others, I agree that when people are forced to wear hijab, it will cause them to rebel.

They need to focus first on building everyone's aqeedaqh and iman, and then hijab will follow naturally....

February 19, 2008 1:22 PM Her Modesty said...

Thank you ladies for all of your comments on this video.

I have mixed feelings about the Hijab Police. On one hand, they're not really doing any harm by going up to these women and telling them about their hijab. However, is it going to remain a peaceful initiative?

On the other hand, what good are they doing? I mean we are supposed to admonish each other as we discussed in a different post, however, there are way more "hijab offenders" passing them by. What good is it doing for them to go up to maybe 1 out of every 20 girls?

Did anybody else notice the men who were walking by them in tight tees and tight jeans??? Does anybody care about their lack of modesty? 

February 19, 2008 5:16 PM zizi said...

To answer your question about the men and whether anyone cares about their lack of modesty...
The answer is yes.
Men who are trying to emulate the "western" style of dress or who wear tight shirts, tight jeans, or other clothing deemed immodest by the government are also asked to dress more modestly.
Once again, I will not comment on whether or not it is correct to have the so-called "fashion police"; but I will end by saying that as every country has laws and its own basis for laws, the basis for Iran is Sharia Law. This obviously means it is required that all people (even non-Muslims) be "modestly"(however the government defines modest) covered.
**I'd like to add that when I say "western" it is because this effort to control the hijab in Iran is not only a social movement, but also a political statement by the government of Iran.

February 20, 2008 2:07 AM Anonymous said...

Assalamalikum sister. I wanted to let you know that they have male fashion police for men.

February 20, 2008 2:30 AM Anonymous said...

In response to some of the commentors here, NOWHERE in the Sharia does it say that you can force women to wear hijab. There may be minimum requirements, e.g. covered at least from shoulders to knees of whatever, (as in non-muslim countries, it's illegal to walk around naked). I say this yet again, did the Prophet or Sahaba order people to parade the streets and tell women what to wear? I think not.

February 20, 2008 3:48 AM Her Modesty said...

Wow! That's interesting to hear that they have this type of thing for men as well. We usually only hear about people coming down on women for how they dress.

February 20, 2008 4:04 AM  

http://preciousmodesty.blogspot.com/2008/02/hijab-islamic-fashion-police.html 

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