Tag Archives: dress codes

Iran’s Latest Fight For Freedom–Dress Right Or Else!

The government of Iran makes it a point to stand tall against all forces in the world which they deem to pose a threat to their national independence. Iran refuses to budge on any compromise concerning their nuclear program, and, in the latest example of defying the world, the government of President Ahmadinejad has decided to toughen its laws concerning proper dress. The number of police assigned to enforce dress codes has been doubled as part of a national campaign to crack down on “immoral behavior.” During early stages of the Islamic revolution which threw out the Shah, there was an emphasis on dress codes, but in recent years there has been evidence of some flexibility in the way women dress. The Kargozaran newspaper quoted a high police official as saying, “the crackdown on non-Islamic hijab(Muslim veil) will continue until the society is clean of any immoralities.”

There are reports about 128 women trying to leave the country were detained at the airport because of “bad hijab.” The crackdown may reflect the government’s uneasiness at being the object of threats from the Western world due to the nuclear issue. There are reports men are now being detained for wearing spiky haircuts which are deemed “Western.”

Length Of Canadian Muslim Woman Skirt Issue On Job

A Canadian woman of the Muslim faith was working at Pearson International Airport when confronted with an issue regarding the length of her skirt. Her position required wearing a uniform whose skirt reached to about her knees, but the woman refused to wear this garment on grounds it violated her Muslim dress code. She proceeded to wear a skirt that was in accordance with Muslim religious practice and was fired. A Canadian court ruled she should be reinstated and placed in an administrative position until authorities can clarify the nature of dress codes for personnel at Canadian airports.

At first glance, this case is of relative minor importance, but it does raises questions regarding the extent to which religious belief can impact the manner in which one conducts a job. I was teaching at an urban college which had many Muslim students. Some of the females(about 40%) covered their faces which made it difficult to ascertain comprehension when either I or another student was talking. I also placed these women in groups containing males which undoubtedly for them raised questions. Ironically, the Orthodox Jewish females in my class also had concerns analogous to the Muslim females. I must confess feeling awkward and uncertain at times when meeting with females in my office since I did not wish to make them feel uncomfortable being in a room with a male. These are interesting new issues for many aspects of modern society.