Thursday, October 17, 2013

Blog 6 - Nigeria: Fashion Police?

Nigeria is home to many Islamic believers, with about half of the nation being Muslim and the other half Christian. Nigeria is Africa’s most populous nation and has been in uproar lately due to the Muslims trying to nullify the democratic government and shift the county to an Islamic state. The extremist groups have used to many tactics thus far including shootings and kidnappings.  New York Times has recently reported that “the Islamic police in the northern state of Kano are deploying thousands of officers to arrest anyone wearing the “indecent dress” that is fashionable among young men driving motorized rickshaw taxis, including pants cut off just below the knee and sleeveless T-shirts.” The standard Islamic dress code for a man is that he must always be covered in loose and unrevealing clothing from his navel to his knee and thus anyone who strays away from that Islamic normative is subject to punishment. Times continues by mentioning that nine of Nigeria’s 37 states have introduced a strict version of Islamic law since the year 2000, yet the law is interpreted and enforced differently in some states.

This reporting links to the theme of crime and deviance.  Deviance is anything or anyone that differs from the accepted norm. In this case a certain type of dress is normative and the revealing of arms and legs is intolerable. The police are now arresting individuals who deviate from wearing a particular dress as a way to deter other witnesses from behaving in the same manner. This is a negative motivational influence that scares witnesses into complying with the law.


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