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Ahmadinejad govt introduces new 'Islamic, beautiful' clothes for Iranian women

December 27, 2011 - Tehran

In effort to settle the dress-code dispute between Muslim hardliners and women in Iran, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's government has introduced a new array of clothes that are "Islamic and beautiful" at the same time.

In Iran, the law requires women to cover their hair and bodies in public. But how to do so remains up to them, and the result is persistent confusion in the streets.

Though leading Shiite Muslim clerics always advise women to wear chadors, the traditional black colored head-to-toe cloak, Iran's urban fashionistas increasingly prefer tight-fitting coats and scant head scarves.

Now, Ahmadinejad has stepped in to end the dispute by promoting government-approved apparel for women.

A government-sponsored fashion show displayed the 110 designs, which entered in a competition for the best Islamic dress, The Washington Post reports.

Women who attended the show gazed approvingly at the plastic mannequins showcasing the new coats and scarves, the paper said.

Followed by television cameras, a team of judges, mostly men, circled the halls, grading the coats on their functionality, design and "Islamic-ness."

Hardliners, however, claimed that the new designs promoted "Western values."

According to them, the "culture" of covering up protects women and prevents them from becoming sex objects. They often denounce Western advertising as abusing women's bodies to sell products.


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