Iran tackles summertime sin

As the weather heats up, police crack down on dress code violations.

Published June 17, 2008 9:00PM (EDT)

In Iran, the summer sun is blazing, clothing is sticking to skin like spandex and people are swimming in their own sweat. You know what that means: bikini carwashes!

I kid. It means Iranian police are cracking down on "un-Islamic" dress. They're arresting men with Western haircuts and women wearing clothing that hints at their curves or head scarves that reveal their hair. Sartorial sinners are either imprisoned or allowed to walk away only after being lashed or fined. Sometimes, police ask where a man got his haircut or a woman purchased her inappropriate attire, and then the police investigate and sometimes shut down the business; 32 have already been forcibly closed.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad initiated these summertime sweeps because it's when overheated women try to get some relief by pushing their hijabs further back on their heads or wearing lighter colored clothing. Nader Sarkari, a police official, told the Associated Press that "people in inappropriate clothes and those who sell these clothes are aware of their violations since they have often been given warning." He added, "Why should some individuals take it upon themselves to commit an act society has deemed a violation?" Oh, I don't know, to avoid heatstroke or ending up in a puddle of perspiration on the sidewalk?

By Tracy Clark-Flory

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