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Inside the Middle East
June 22, 2011
Posted: 846 GMT

From CNN's Global Public Square

By Michelle Mariam Moghtader, CNN

Every year before summer rolls around Iranian authorities tighten clothing restrictions. Normally the “Moral Police” crackdown on the women forcing them to wear their hijab so that it covers all of their hair, for example.  But since last year, the "Moral Police" have been targeting the men too.

Last summer, the Iranian government issued a men’s hairstyle guide.

This year, they banned necklaces for men.

In addition, Iranian state TV has taken issue with jeans as well. A YouTube videofrom Iranian state TV features a discussion in which jeans are said to actually come from the word "jinn" – invisible creatures who know the unknowable. The young man in the video says wearing jeans is also supposed to have a hazardous effect on a man's testicles because it raises the temperature. This, according to Iranian state TV, renders men infertile.

This annual clothing crackdown is the government’s attempt to distract citizens from their real problems. Iran suffers from large scale unemployment and internal political paralysis.  It is also facing the threat of even more sanctions.

Will talk of sorcery or criticizing jewelry stop the Iranian people from thinking about their real problems?  Unlikely.

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Filed under: Iran


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Jerkinp   June 22nd, 2011 9:22 pm ET

Iranian religious cleric led government is playing with fire. Unlike the women, the men can form militias and armies. Push to far and the Iranian regime will have to deal with more armed rebels then usual.

fu9l   June 23rd, 2011 1:21 am ET

iran is nothign more than a joke of the civilized world and the goverment and its mullahs need to be put down like the rabid animals they are cant wait till they get overthrown ....

John Penn   June 23rd, 2011 5:15 pm ET

I am amazed at the cruelty committed by the iranian regime in the name of religion....leaders of these 3rd wold countries belong to the dustbin of history

Anas   June 23rd, 2011 11:48 pm ET

you the americans cant you just mind your problem...solve yr internal problem first b4 advocating that of others...you hv more internal problem than any other country yet u criticize others...

Mihit   June 24th, 2011 6:26 pm ET

Everyone has right to wear anything....be it of woman or man....It's human right to leave the way they want.....why all these restriction especially in Iran.....

Michelle   June 25th, 2011 1:42 am ET

This forcing people to do what you say is crazy!!! i was in iran for two months on holiday with my husband and children. i was fed up of having to cover myself every time i left my in laws home. I really felt like a prisoner. It's really too bad. The country is such a beautiful place. These mullahs in power should stop forcing there belief's on the iranian public. let loose a bit alrady ! Instead of wasting your time on banning this and that do something good for your country . open your borders and start living like the rest of the world !!! I am not saying give up muslim beliefs but at least let the people decide what they want to do with there lives.!!!

sha vakil   June 26th, 2011 2:08 pm ET

every country has there own rules and regulation if any one dose not like they should not visit that country.

Iranian American   June 27th, 2011 5:25 pm ET

This has nothing to do with religion and all to do with the visible change in culture. Like most societies, the conservatives are not comfortable with change and express taboos against it. What's sad is cnn think this article meets any standard of journalism.

Persian pride   June 29th, 2011 12:14 am ET

Who died and made these fools fashion experts?
We, the Iranian youth will never conform to the restrictions placed on us by Islam because even that was forced onto us. It may have been 1400 years ago but Islam will never be fully accepted by the majority. The only good things that comes out of idiotic restrictions like this placed on people is that they will stray further and further away from religion, which has no place in today's society and certainly no place among a nation that wasn't part of religion to begin with.
Even if religion were to have a place in Iran's society, it would be Zoroastrianism – which was founded in Iran. We are not Arabs and we will not conform to their religion!!!

David   June 29th, 2011 9:57 am ET

I sympathize with the people of Iran, they don't feel free in their own country. The mullahs have gone to the extent of concocting stories relating Jinn to jeans.

Pedro peters   June 29th, 2011 3:37 pm ET

I THINK THIS IS IRAN INTERNAL PROBLEM, THEY SHOULD HANDLE IT THEIR OWN WAY. MAJORITY OF THEM DON'T LIKE OUTSIDERS ESPERCIALLY WESTERNERS INTERFARING IN THIER INTERNAL AFFAIRS.

Shaun   June 29th, 2011 6:08 pm ET

What a bunch of clowns leading that circus of a regime! I pity those in Iran who have never tasted true freedom,but when you have a raving lunatic for a president what else can you expect!

Victorianism   July 5th, 2011 6:58 pm ET

During my reading of the comments, I feel an unquenchable need to say something here. Why are there always some people that think people should have the very right to decide everything all for and by their own? Some even take that for granted and barbarically judge that that are 'facts' and need not to be judged or undergo any scientific verification. But I think it is fair to ask any suitably educated civilized people for an very easy awareness as of nowadays that when something need not or cannot scientifically prove to be right or wrong, it surely comes to belonging to moral, value judgment, which, then, can not be said and judged simply as wrong or right. Therefore, here, can I reasonably and respectfully demand every man and woman who are not barbarians and thus supposedly able to conduct themselves to some extent of self-discipline to not consider their own norms or thoughts as universal and should be followed by all others? Basically and very simply, people whose governments demand them to wear something special should not have the right to condemn others that do the opposite, and vice versa. To put it more serious, the minds and thoughts that people have of asking others to do exactly what they do equate, or at the very least parallel, to the way some current extremists and all terrorists observe and pursue. It is so sad, and very bad. So, I feel very urgent to point out to all the critics here that you have the right to disagree with Iran, but not the right to criticize or even condemn it upon such things-after all, all of which belong to local traditional customs, or new-found needs based on their current situations, such as cultural, religious, economic, political or global.

Victorianism   July 6th, 2011 12:54 am ET

During my reading of the comments, I feel an unquenchable need to say something here. Why are there always some people that think people should have the very right to decide everything or something for others? Some even take that for granted and barbarically judge that that are 'facts' and need not to be judged or undergo any scientific verification. But I think it is fair to ask any suitably educated civilized people for an very easy awareness as of nowadays that when something need not or cannot scientifically prove to be right or wrong, it surely comes to belonging to moral, value judgment, which, then, can not be said and judged simply as wrong or right. It is just simple like that. Therefore, here, can I reasonably and respectfully demand every man and woman who are not barbarians and thus supposedly able to conduct themselves to some extent of self-discipline to not consider their own norms or thoughts as universal and should be followed by all others? Basically and very simply, people whose governments demand them to wear something special should not have the right to condemn others that do the opposite, and vice versa. To put it more serious, the minds and thoughts that people have of asking others to do exactly what they do equate, or at the very least parallel, to the way some current extremists and all terrorists observe and pursue. It is so sad, and very bad. So, I feel very urgent to point out to all the critics here that you have the very right to disagree with Iran, but not the slimmest right to criticize or even condemn it upon such things, after all, all of which are subject to local traditional customs, or new-found needs based upon its current situations, like cultural, religious, economic, political or global. Obviously, there is little room here even for surprise, and surely no place for criticism and condemnation.

NonZionist   July 8th, 2011 5:15 pm ET

I object to dress-codes that single out women. If we cannot abolish dress-codes, then we should at least try to make them even-handed (non-discriminatory) . The ban on necklaces for men seems like a step in that direction. I see it as progress.

Let's keep in mind that every country has dress codes. Here in the U.S.., men and women are not allowed to go naked in public. These codes exist to maintain a social standard. They are a bit like zoning codes that require one to maintain the appearance of one's property.

Why should we Americans impose our dress-code on Iran? Iranians should be free to have their own dress-code. I find the code unreasonable, but I don't live in Iran.

TITUS ORIMOLADE   July 8th, 2011 11:04 pm ET

Leave them alone to suffer for their faith or fate They can ban the wearing of necklaces but can not ban hunger or lack of jobs If they claim its for their religion leave them before they start naming you an anti-Islamic agent The time will come when each of their heads would be cut off in the name of allah and islam then they will cry to the West they once citicize

cjygudwin   July 9th, 2011 3:25 pm ET

Rule by the Revolutionary Guards is currently both unstable and unpopular. The regime tries to rally uneducated and religious supporters over dislike of the US, UK, and Israel. Most educated Iranians have become cynical about this strategy and would gladly move to any of those countries for a better life if given a chance.
At some point oil shipments may be blocked by the US or Israel over the nuclear issue. That may finally bring an end to this authoritarian regime.

Kyle OC   July 12th, 2011 1:48 am ET

This is not an issue with Iran, its governing body or its people; this is what you get when religion gets involved with politics therefore getting political power to run a country and forcing ideas onto civilians.

Backward ideas can stem from religion, culture or personal beliefs, but it’s always forced on citizens in the name of religion. You don’t have to go back far in history to witness earth was flat, sun revolved around the earth, to the modern history where woman can’t drive, gays can’t marry or evolution is a myth.

It is sad state of affair to witness the same people, no matter what race they are or where they are from, can be dead wrong and manage to force their ideas on others.

Mazdak   July 12th, 2011 5:05 pm ET

I am sure Iran government is concerned with youth wearing necklaces, Most of you have never been to Iran (and probably think it is a dessert with bunch of camels runing around), but consider yourself an expert on how things work in Iran. Before you start pointing out Iran's unemployment rates why don't you fix your own unemployment problems, after all you can't blame your economic problems on sanctions. US gov't can't even prepare a damn budget, but it is concerned about every issue in Middle east. Weird! I wonder why? What about lets solve all the problems inside US and then learn how to prepare a budget and then you can start on solving rest of the worlds problem.


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