Hot on the heals of my recent post on the thought police around the globe comes a more specific look at the morality police in selected Islamic nations.
I’ve written this before, and I’ll write it again: I am constantly reminded of my good fortune at having been born in (UK) and later moved to (US) nations that value freedom of speech, freedom of association and freedom of religion.
Though, the current electioneering in the US does have me wondering how a Christian evangelical theocracy under a President Cruz would look.
From the BBC:
Police forces tasked with implementing strict state interpretations of Islamic morality exist in several other states, including Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Malaysia.
Many – especially those with an affinity with Western lifestyles – chafe against such restrictions on daily life, but others support the idea, and growing religious conservatism has led to pressure for similar forces to be created in countries that do not have them.
Here are some places where “morality police” forces patrol:
Name: Gasht-e Ershad (Persian for Guidance Patrols), supported by Basij militia
Who they are: Iran has had various forms of “morality police” since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, but the Gasht-e Ershad are currently the main agency tasked enforcing Iran’s Islamic code of conduct in public.
Their focus is on ensuring observance of hijab – mandatory rules requiring women to cover their hair and bodies and discouraging cosmetics.
Name: Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice, or Mutawa (Arabic for Particularly obedient to God)
Who they are: Formed in 1940, the Mutawa is tasked with enforcing Islamic religious law – Sharia – in public places.
This includes rules forbidding unrelated males and females to socialise in public, as well as a dress code that encourages women to wear a veil covering all but their eyes.
Read the entire story here.