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The Morality Police

The picture shows a woman being dragged into a van by three people; one person is inside the vehicle pulling the woman inside with some cane or stick. The other two people, a woman, and a man, are outside the van trying to push the victim into the van. In the United States, or even in Central or South America, we think the person is kidnapped. But in Iran, we are watching the morality police in action. The focus of the morality police is to enforce the Islamic code of conduct in public. So, what will be her penalty? Forty lashes are the standard punishment for women who break the rules. If you conduct an internet search for "morality police", you will find a wealth of pictures if you do your search for images.

Mostly, the focus of the morality police is on ensuring the observance of modesty garments such as the hijab or burka and mandatory rules requiring women to cover their hair and bodies and discouraging cosmetics. Being outside in public without a male chaperone is also an offense. Men can be at risk as well. Western-style haircuts, holding hands with their girlfriend or wife, and kissing are infractions that can cause harassment and even arrest. In this case, the picture comes from Iran via the social platform Twitter. Don't be fooled. There are morality police in Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Malaysia, Indonesia, and almost any other Islamic dominant country. Already in Afghanistan, the morality police have replaced the country's women's affairs ministry.

Islamic religious police are official Islamic vice squad police agencies that enforce religious observance and public morality on behalf of national or regional authorities based on their interpretation of sharia. The practice is generally justified regarding the doctrine of hisba, which is based on the Quranic injunction (7:157) of enjoining good and forbidding evil and refers to the duty of Muslims to promote moral rectitude and intervene when another Muslim is acting wrongly.

In some cases, the morality police can only report the infraction to the regular police, who determine whether to act. In my upcoming book, Muslim Mechanics, I identify two types of Muslims who represent trends in Islamic demographics. The Islamists represent progressives who are trending towards the Western lifestyle. They are Muslims but believe that the morality police go too far. The Salafis, on the other hand, represent fundamental beliefs dating back to Muhammad. They are conservative and wholly support the morality police. The morality police are a function of the Salafis' way of life. Western countries do not allow morality police, so there is much consternation about how to keep young Muslims in check in Islamic communities. In Europe, the development of "no-go" zones has held non-Muslims out and allowed Muslim communities to control their members. In the U.S., honor killings sometimes work, but it isn't easy because of our strong law and order system, although that is changing quickly.

As our country gains more and more Muslim emigrants and they become a sizable population within the U.S., we may start to see some erosion of our legal system. For example, in Indonesia, there are many Muslims elected to that country's legislative chambers. A recent "bedroom bill" introduced by a Muslim criminalizes sperm and ovum donors, outlaws the use of whips and bondage, and enforces a "rehabilitation" program for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBTQ) community. Another law casts the husband as the traditional breadwinner and makes it his duty to provide security for his "wives" and children. As more Muslims evolve through our local, state, and federal system of democracy, we will find that their morality will creep into the laws that affect our morality. They believe that their morality is correct, and they must impose it on non-Muslims like yourself.

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