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Fashion Professionals Targeted By Authorities In Iran

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Judges in Iran have ordered the arrests of at least eight people working in the fashion industry, in a crackdown on activities deemed as “un-Islamic”.

 

In a country where modelling was only declared permissible under Islamic law two years ago, fashion has undergone a revolution as some models, with in excess of 100,000 Instagram followers, posting images of themselves posing without the hijab. They are among those arrested, for showing their hair. Others detained include stylists and photographers.

 

Strict controls have been put in place to regulate the nascent fashion industry, with models required to have ID cards, and agencies licenses. Many of the Instagram models are working outside the system. Social media has enabled the growth of the industry, and Iran’s religious leaders appear threatened by the lack of control they can exert over the online world.

 

“This [virtual space] is a real field of war and our clerics and religious students should arm and prepare themselves to tackle wrong and deviant beliefs,” supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Saturday.

 

The state-run Irna news agency reported Tehran’s prosecutor general

Abbas Jafari-Dolatabadi as saying, “In the past two years, we have launched two operations during which 50 stylists, 50 fashion houses and 50 ateliers were identified by the intelligence and judicial authorities and some arrests have been made and some [Instagram and Facebook] accounts have been closed down.

 

“The enemy is trying to invest in [our] cultural and social domains in order to infiltrate the minds of our youth. They are investing online through sexual attractions and [promise] of financial gains.”

 

Can showing hair really be so dangerous?

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