Geopolitics

At Least 17 Civilians Killed During NATO Air Strike In Afghanistan

PAJHWOK (Afghanistan), L'EXPRESS (France)

PUL-I-ALAM – At least 17 civilians were killed during a NATO air strike in Afghanistan on Wednesday morning, Afghan news agency Pajhwok reports. The attack struck the Logar Province, in the eastern part of the country: women and children were among the victims. The intended target of the raid was the house a local tribal elder, in which a Taliban commander was hiding.

The tragedy follows last month's Chicago NATO summit during which the organization announced details of a planned withdrawal of the international troops by 2014. But several NATO countries have begun an early withdrawal of their soldiers, including France, whose new President François Hollande traveled to Kabul after the Chicago summit to follow through on a campaign promise to bring home French troops by the end of 2012, as detailed the French magazine L'Express.

Keep up with the world. Break out of the bubble.
Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter!
Society

Iran To Offer Master's And PhD In Morality Enforcement

For those aiming to serve the Islamic Republic of Iran as experts to train the public morality agents, there are now courses to obtain the "proper" training.

Properly dressed in the holy city of Qom.

Iran will create new "master's and doctorate" programs to train state morality agents checking on people's public conduct and attire, according to several Persian-language news sources.

Mehran Samadi, a senior official of the Headquarters to Enjoin Virtues and Proscribe Vices (Amr-e be ma'ruf va nahy az monkar) said "anyone who wants to enjoin virtues must have the knowledge," the London-based broadcaster Iran International reported, citing reports from Iran.


The morality patrols, in force since the 1979 revolution, tend to focus mostly on young people and women, particularly the public appearance for the latter. Loose headscarves will send women straight to a police station, often in humiliating conditions. Five years ago, the regime announced a new force of some 7,000 additional agents checking on women's hijabs and other standards of dress and behavior.

A woman in Tehran walks past a mural of an Iranian flag

The traffic police chief recently said women were not allowed to ride motorbikes

Rouzbeh Fouladi/ZUMA

New academic discipline

Last week, for example, Tehran police revealed that they had "disciplined" agents who had been filmed forcefully shoving a girl into a van. Such incidents may increase under the new, conservative president, Ibrahim Raisi.

Speaking about the new academic discipline, Samadi said morals go "much further than headscarves and modesty," and those earning graduate degrees would teach agents "what the priorities are."

Iran's Islamic regime, under the guidance of Shia jurists, continuously fine tunes notions of "proper" conduct — and calibrates its own, interventionist authority. More recently the traffic police chief said women were not allowed to ride motorbikes, and "would be stopped," Prague-based Radio Farda reported.

Days before, a cleric in the holy city of Qom in central Iran insisted that people must be vaccinated by a medic of the same sex "as often as possible," and if not, there should be no pictures of mixed-sex vaccinations.

Keep up with the world. Break out of the bubble.
Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter!
THE LATEST
FOCUS
TRENDING TOPICS
MOST READ