Sharia Alert from the Islamic Republic. “WITNESS: “Hijab problem” sparks police standoff in Tehran,” by Fredrik Dahl for Reuters (thanks to all who sent this in):
TEHRAN (Reuters) – Wearing a brightly colored headscarf and high-heeled boots, the woman refused to be bundled into the police van without a fight.
Protesting loudly and even trying to escape, her standoff with Iranian police cracking down on women violating the Islamic dress code lasted several minutes.
But the outcome of the drama shortly after dusk on a cold winter’s day on Tehran’s most famous boulevard was never in doubt.
Two female police officers in head-to-toe black chadors pushed her into the white vehicle which then drove off into the bustle of tree-lined Vali-ye Asr Avenue.
“Hijab problem,” one male onlooker said, referring to the clothes women must wear in Iran to cover their hair and disguise the shape of their bodies to conform with Iran’s Islamic laws.
Based in Tehran for the past year, I have often written about police detaining women who challenge the dress codes that have been more strictly enforced under President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
But this was the first time I saw it happening.
To judge by the passers-by who stopped in the lamplight on the snowy pavement, or the people peeping out through the windows of the neighborhood grocery store where I was buying milk, my curiosity was shared.
The dark-haired woman, who appeared to be in her 30s, argued in a high-pitched voice with a burly, bearded male police officer towering over her in his green uniform.
When his female colleague put a hand on the woman’s shoulder to lead her into the van, she angrily pushed it away and shouted. Then suddenly she turned and tried to run away.
She did not get far. The two female officers grabbed her and shoved her into the police vehicle. The door was slammed shut and the van disappeared into Tehran’s evening rush hour….