Iran’s morality police reinstate hijab street patrols

Saeed Montazer-al Mahdi, the head of police in Iran, announced on Sunday the revival of the morality police’s hijab patrols, which will resume their presence on the streets.

“Effective immediately, police patrols will be deployed across the country. In addition to their regular duties, these officers will address individuals who disregard the consequences of not wearing the appropriate hijab and persist in violating social norms. They will provide warnings, and if the individuals fail to comply with the orders of the police force, legal action will be taken, and they will be referred to the judicial system,” stated Mahdi.

In the past, specialized police units focused on enforcing hijab regulations patrolled the streets nationwide.

However, some individuals express skepticism about the efficacy of the morality police in enforcing hijab compliance. Ismaili, a student, commented, “Do you think the morality police can prevent women from not wearing a hijab? They cannot impose it like before – the number of people who do not obey is too high now. They cannot handle all of us, the last thing they can do is use violence and force against us. They cannot do it.”

Another student highlighted that women who choose not to wear the hijab often do so as an act of rebellion, rather than being opposed to it inherently. “If you listen to what the women without hijab are saying, you will realize that they don’t really have a problem with the hijab. They are doing this – not wearing the hijab – as an act of rebellion. If they are heard, they will be in favor of the hijab,” the student explained.

Protests erupted across the country after the death of Mahsa Amini while in the custody of the morality police in 2022, leading many women to stop wearing the headscarf in public as a form of protest.

Official operations of the morality police were suspended for over nine months following the incident before being reinstated.