Writing for The Christian Science Monitor Ilene R. Prusher reports on the enforcement of Islamic dress codes in Iraq.
The quickly evolving dress code is not limited to mosques. At Al Mustansirriye University in Baghdad, new guidelines have been posted on student bulletin boards by "security officers" who say they have been elected to represent the Hawza on campus. On professor complains that Baath Party enforcers are just being replaced by Hawza authorities.
Veronique Taveau, spokeswoman for the U.N. Office of the Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq, cited a female Iraqi U.N. employee who had received a written death threat warning her and her daughters to wear an Islamic headcovering. The frightened woman had complied.
Veronique Taveau's name sounds French. Therefore she may already have experience with Islamists enforcing dress codes in some parts of France. She's now getting a big dose of what is in store for her country's future as the Muslim population of France steadily increases.
The Islamists are probably not the biggest problem for Iraqi women at this point though. The presence of women in public life has been drastically decreased due to fears of rapists.
The fear of rape in the city is now so widespread that families are rearranging their daily activities around providing security for their daughters. Dedicated fathers such as Abdel-Hassan take personal steps to ensure their safety at school, but many who are unable or disinclined to take on an additional burden are simply opting to keep their daughters at home.
Order will eventually be restored (hopefully). But the Islamists are going to be the longer term threat.
|Share |||By Randall Parker at 2003 June 13 02:48 AM Mideast Iraq Freedom Rights|