Iran-backed Houthis wage war on ‘Women’s Lingerie’

Women shop at a supermarket in Sana’a, Yemen. (REUTERS)

The Arab Weekly reported that continuing their puritanical campaign to impose an ultra-conservative “moral” code, the Iran-backed Houthis in the Yemeni capital Sana’a are banning fashion ads.

The militias, that have banned traditional song and music, decided to confiscate and burn hundreds of images of underwear models from lingerie shops and retailers, a Houthi official said Wednesday.

The Houthis are locked in a brutal war with Yemen’s government and have imposed strict moral rules in areas under their control, with women particularly targeted.

“The commerce ministry confiscated all of the photos of women from my shop under the pretext they were naked which undermines modesty,” Mohammed al-Alimi, a lingerie shop owner in Al-Safiya district, told AFP.

Another retailer, Omar al-Ouessabi, confirmed the Houthi campaign had targeted lingerie shops.

He added that “hundreds” of photos were burned by the Houthis, who control much of the north, including Sana’a since 2014.

“The authorities in Sana’a recently descended on lingerie shops and confiscated indecent images,” a Houthi official told AFP.

The exercise had targeted the entire capital after traders were warned.

“We are a conservative society. We all have our own dress and customs. This type of indecent image will not be allowed,” he said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

But several other officials of the Houthi movement criticised the move.

Abdelmalik al-Ajri, a member of the Houthi political bureau, called on the local authorities to “contain their officers who have misinterpreted religion”.

It was not the first case of Houthi action against shops selling women’s items.

Last year, members of the rebel movement confiscated accessories worn by women over dresses to accentuate their figures.

Sana’a’s sole cafe for women, Ophelia, was meanwhile forced to close its doors.

And hair dressers in the city have been ordered to refuse to give cuts deemed inappropriate although hugely popular among young clients.

The rebels have continued to exert their influence despite the 2015 intervention of a coalition led by Saudi Arabia.

Source: thearabweekly
Image Source: Reuters-thearabweekly