Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Sharjah police enforce law against men wearing accessories

Thirteen-year-old Mohammad was with a group of friends in Al Qasba area when he was reportedly approached by a police officer and taken to the police headquarters. His silver necklace had to go.
Another resident, Jeril Jaison Varghese, says he was in front of the Multiplex in Mega Mall to watch a movie when a CID officer asked him for his identification.
"I was taken to the Sharjah Police office inside the mall by a security guy from the mall. My silver bracelet was confiscated by the CID," he said.
When Varghese asked why his bracelet was being taken away, he says, police said men are not allowed to wear bracelets or any fashion accessories in Sharjah malls even if it is silver and not gold.
"When did this rule come into being? There was no public notification and no posters in the mall notifying people of this rule," Varghese said. Another resident said on Saturday CID confiscated his friend's silver bracelet while they were in a mall.
"Is there a rule in Sharjah that authorises the CID to confiscate fashion accessories other than gold from residents and their children from malls?" asked Aji Alexander.
A Mexican mother who recently shifted to the UAE and is now living in Sharjah said her 14-year-old son was scared when he was stopped by police who shouted at him for wearing diamond earrings.
"Police were rude... We have no clue that such things are not allowed here," the mother said. "I am not allowing my son to go to Al Qasba again. My son is a very decent and polite boy," she said.
"If people are not offending the laws of the country and are not acting like women by wearing such accessories so why are police taking such action?" she asked.
Mohammad from Sudan said his 18-year old nephew who came from Abu Dhabi to visit his grandmother in Sharjah was taken last week to the headquarters for wearing a silver necklace.
"The boy was afraid. He was standing in front of his grandmother's house when police took him to the CID. After three hours he contacted us," said Mohammad. Residents said Sharjah authorities should inform people who wish to come here that men must not wear fashion accessories.
"Tourist companies should inform the public. Information booklets should be handed to people at the country's entry points. They should advertise that in all malls and entertainment areas such as Al Qasba which we believe are safe places for our children to spend time," said a resident.
"We are aware of the decency law in Sharjah, but wearing silver bracelets, necklaces, or even earrings in a decent way is not against the law," said a resident.
A senior CID official told Gulf News that police are implementing an eight-year-old decency law.
"Men are not allowed to wear such accessories. Everybody is aware of that," he said. "We are informing people through the media and people should be aware of that," he said.
Islam forbids men from wearing gold and silk.
Source: Gulf News 21 July 21 09

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