Iran mullah-run parliament proposes national costumes
Aug 21, 2004, 10:21
Iran's mullah-run conservative parliament is preparing designs for national Islamic costumes to combat the corrupting influence of Western fashion, a prominent MP said Wednesday.
"We have to design new trends within the framework of an Islamic dress code. Both men and women need a national costume," Emad Afroogh, head of the parliamentary cultural commission, told student news agency ISNA.
He added that a national fashion reform bill had been put before the parliament's research centre for approval.The move comes after the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warned the nation in July about a "cultural invasion" and the dangers of imitating foreigners, asserting that Iranians needed to design their own styles.
In recent weeks state television has dedicated part of its main news programme to the question of "What is fashion?" a series of interviews with residents, clerics and "experts" aimed at defining what can and cannot be worn.
The Tehran chief of police warned women a few days ago not to dress like "models", while a general clampdown over the last few months has seen police rounding up hundreds of young women sporting flimsy headscarves, three-quarter-length trousers and shape-revealing coats.
On Tuesday parliament rejected the gender equality bill put forward by its reformist predecessors.