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February 26, 2008
Iranian Shoppers Attack 'Modesty Police'
The Iranian "modesty police" known as the Ershad patrol bit off more than they could chew when they tried to arrest a woman in Tehran for "indecency" when they stopped her on the street for not wearing her hijab properly:
This is the story they tell: at approximately 7 pm on Saturday, February 23, the Ershad patrol, modesty police assigned to enforce clothing regulations, accosted and attempted to arrest a young woman at Goldis Shopping Mall, located in western Tehran, presumably because her dress was not sufficiently modest.When the police returned, they were in full riot gear and fired shots into the air to disburse the crowd:
In recent weeks, the police squads charged with enforcing modesty have become more rigorous in their enforcement, with thousands of women detained, questioned, and arrested for violating hijab standards. I
nstead of meekly submitting to her fate, the woman fought back. A young man - it is unclear whether he was accompanying her - came to her defense and joined her in fighting the police. In an attempt to subdue – and humiliate him - the police grabbed the young man and threw him into the garbage can nearby.
That was when the large crowd, predominately made up of young people, rose up against the police and attempted to liberate the young woman themselves. Faced with a full-blown riot - complete with angry crowds with garbage cans being set on fire - the frightened police jumped into the van and fled the scene, except for one unfortunate officer who was left behind. The policeman was reportedly attacked and beaten by the mob.
The incident documented by cell phone video that was uploaded to YouTube. While the quality of the video is extremely poor, the Farsi narration and background voices were intelligible and translatable. Reports from the scene say about 15 people were arrested.
“You have put us on since 1979 until now” (the Islamic Revolution of 1979) The crowd cheered after repeating the slogan multiple times.
Another slogan chanted repeatedly - accompanied by boos: “We do not want the Islamic regime”
Apparently this is not an isolated incident, that as the Iranian authorities have cracked down in recent weeks, resistance has gone up. It is a shame this kind of thing never gets reported in the mainstream press given the fact that any opposition to the Islamic regime is usually brutally supressed.
There have been other student uprisings in recent months showing a growing opposition to the authority of the mullahs. But as long as there are 250,000 Revolutionary Guards with guns, it is unlikely the students will make much headway in their pursuit of greater freedom.