Modesty guard

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Modesty guards or Modesty Patrols either request or force women to dress modestly, depending on the country and the location. The definition of modesty is different in each location. For example, in the Western Wall in Jerusalem, women simply have to cover their shoulders and not wear shorts, while in Iran their body and hair has to be covered. Iranian women are also jailed if their clothes are revealing while making a video posted online.

At the Western Wall, Jerusalem[edit]

The modesty guards at the Western Wall in Jerusalem implement a modest dress code. They ask women to cover up.[1]

In Haredi communties, Israel[edit]

In Israel, the term mishmeret tzniyut (Hebrew: משמרת צניעות; also tzniyut patrol, modesty squad, chastity squad) refers to a vigilante gang which acts to enforce a code of modesty among the Haredi public through violence and intimidation. The conduct of these gangs is illegal in Israel.

Modesty guidelines at government-sponsored events, Israel[edit]

According to an article in the Independent in 2016, "Israel's Culture Ministry is to introduce new rules about how modestly performers should dress at government-sponsored events. 'Festivals and events funded by public money will respect the general public, which includes different communities,' a Culture Ministry spokesperson said. The announcement comes after a singer at a government-backed beach concert near Tel Aviv said she was ordered off stage for wearing a bikini top."[2]

Modesty Patrols in Israel[edit]

Modesty Patrol operate in the ultra-Orthodox Jewish communities. They can be intimidating and even violent. Their conduct is illegal under Israeli law. They have torched stores for selling certain electronic equipment. They some times hurl stones at women who do not dress according to their strict dress code and have even broken into a woman's house and beat her up, because they did not approve of her behavior.

In 2006, Micky Rosenfeld a police spokesman said; "The modesty police are not organized, just rogue enforcers carrying out isolated attacks." But Israel's Justice Ministry used the term "modesty patrols" in an indictment against a man who assaulted a woman in Jerusalem.[3]

Guidance Patrol in Iran[edit]

Guidance Patrol (Persian: گشت ارشاد, Gašt-e Eršād) is the main Islamic religious police, or vice squad in the Law Enforcement Force of Islamic Republic of Iran, established in 2005. They impose Islamic dress codes and norms of conduct in public, particularly regarding the hijab of women. The Iranian force has even arrested a number of women over videos that were posted on Instagram. In 2018 they arrested 17-year-old gymnast Maedeh Hojabri, over a video of her dancing. The State TV in Iran aired her forced “confession”.[4][5]

In 2016 Tehran's police sent around 7,000 undercover officers to lookout for those who do not follow conservative Islamic modes of dress and behavior. They are called the Gashte Ershad, the "guidance patrol," and they have broad powers to scold and arrest people for failing to meet the modesty test.[6]

References[edit]