Summary: Members of the Najaf provincial council proposed Thursday the formation of an etiquette police and the removal of mannequins shown in the front windows of women's clothing stores, while civil activists expressed their fears regarding the formation of such a police lest it be misused.
Azhar al-Tarihi, a female member of the Najaf council, said to AlSumaria News that "several of the female members of the council presented a proposal to form an etiquette police, in addition to the removal of displayed mannequins found in the windows of women's clothing stores," explaining that these mannequins are "contrary to Islamic shari'a."
Al-Tarihi pointed out that "there is no problem if these mannequins are placed facing a wall or screen concealing them from the street," calling for "following the model of the Islamic countries in this matter."
For his part, council member Khaled al-Shajami said to AlSumaria News that "freedoms are protected in the Iraqi constitution," noting that "establishment of a police force concerned with morality doesn't mean banning or limiting the citizens' freedoms but rather putting them in order."
In addition, civil activist Muhammad Anour said to AlSumaria News that "Iraq tried the experience of morality police in the past and it was a failure," explaining that "this police force was misused in a way inappropriate for the traditions of Iraqi society."
Najaf province, 160 km south of the capital Baghdad, is counted among the provinces with a clear religious nature. The shrine of the first Twelver Shi'i imam, Ali bin Abi Talib, is located in it, as are the main site of a seminary and the offices of Shi'i religious mara'iyya.