The Dubious Roots of Religious Police in Islam
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The Dubious Roots of Religious Police in Islam

5 December 2022


On Sept. 16, 2022, thousands of protesters poured into the streets of Iran chanting, “I will kill those who killed my sister.” They were referring to Mahsa Amini, the 22‐​year‐​old Kurdish Iranian woman arrested a few days earlier by Tehran’s “Gasht‑e Ershad” (literally “guidance patrol,” also known as the “morality police”) on charges of insufficiently covering her hair. She died in detention, following blows to her head, with bruises on her corpse. The popular anger sparked by this atrocity soon turned into nationwide civil unrest, which is still ongoing at the time of writing, undertaken bravely by people from all walks of life, despite the brutal response by security forces.

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Mustafa Akyol
Senior Fellow, Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity, Cato Institute