Muslim morality police in Iran have given local men a simple order: avert your eyes from women during Ramadan. Their command comes as part of a widespread crackdown on freedoms by the strict Islamic regime amid U.S. sanctions and growing civil unrest.
“My personal advice to women is to respect the hijab even more than before and gentlemen must avoid looking directly at female passersby,” Gholam-Hossein Esmaili, a judiciary spokesperson said. “Anyone ignoring these instructions during the Ramadan will be committing an offence and should expect some punishment from the law enforcement units.”
The headscarf, or hijab, is mandatory in public for all women in Iran. Those who violate the rule are usually sentenced to two months in prison or less and fined around $25
The Muslim morality police added they will also arrest anyone playing music on their car radio and will tow their car away and hand them a heavy fine.
The crackdown on public displays of affection and emotion comes as police launch an investigation into “disturbing” social media videos of schoolgirls dancing to a pop song as well as female students seen protesting Iran’s mandatory headscarf law.
#protesting_against_compulsary_hijab in IRAN
Hundreds Of Tehran Students Protesting against #unemployment and #poverty and #compulsary_Hijab .
support the protest movement in iran to get rid of the #islamic_barbaric_regime. pic.twitter.com/muGyT6mlTv
— شبکه همبستگی با مبارزات مردم ایران . فرانکفورت (@IranAufstand) May 13, 2019
Iran’s Education minister Mohammad Bathaei said a team of specialists were hunting down the source of the dancing video, which showed smiling, happy children taking part in an online dance challenge.
“The enemy is trying different ways to create anxiety among the people including by spreading these disturbing videos,” Bathaei said. “I’m certain there’s some kind of political plot behind the publication of these devious clips in schools.”
Iran’s economy is beset by a near 50 percent inflation, its currency has almost collapsed, labour and civil servants strikes are commonplace.
Recent nationwide floods have also left farming lands of 26 provinces in ruin and diseases threatening millions in the rural areas of Iran.
Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani said earlier this year his country faces the worst economic crisis in 40 years, entirely due to U.S. policy.
“Today the country is facing the biggest pressure and economic sanctions in the past 40 years,” Rouhani observed. “Today our problems are primarily because of pressure from America and its followers. And the dutiful government and Islamic system should not be blamed.”