Sharjah Police Decency Rule Campaign Achieves Goals

SHARJAH — The Sharjah Police has been carrying out a public decency campaign to curb objectionable practices and behaviour like wearing of skimpy outfits, eve-teasing and fighting on streets, but it does not target men who wear women’s accessories and jewellery, a top officer has clarified.

By Lily B. Libo-on And Afkar Abdullah

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Published: Thu 30 Jul 2009, 12:50 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 8:04 PM

Lt-Col Yousif Al Naqbi, Head of the Criminal Investigation Department, told Khaleej Times that the campaign, launched on July 1 and runs till the end of Ramadan, is not to address the issue of accessories because these are not included in the Public Decency Rule.

The police have rounded up 70 youth for allegedly eve-teasing in shopping centres and malls so far, he said.

The police would not tolerate those who indulge in activities that threaten the society or any other act that violates the culture, tradition and religion of the emirates.

Police patrols have been deployed in shopping centres and commercial and residential areas in all parts of Sharjah.

“Whoever lives in Sharjah or has just come to visit should respect the emirate’s rules and its society, and we appreciate the diplomatic missions’ (efforts) to spread awareness among their people living in the emirate on the importance of respecting the culture and conservative tradition of the local community,” said Al Naqbi.

He said the decency campaign has achieved its goals in Sharjah. “The initiatives taken by the Sharjah Police in educating the public about this particular law have played a great role in ensuring safety and peace in the emirate for all residents.”

Meanwhile, diplomatic missions in Dubai have joined the emirate’s police to make expatriate residents from their countries to strictly abide by all laws and regulations pertaining to the dress code, decency and public conduct.

The diplomatic missions issued reminders to their citizens amidst strict enforcement now by the police of the Sharjah Decency and Public Conduct Rules issued on June 16, 2001 by His Highness Dr Shaikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah.

The Philippine Consulate in Dubai reminded the overseas Filipinos (OFWs) in Sharjah that the CID in the emirate is more vigorous and strict in implementing the eight-year-old regulation and that they should respect these rules. “(The) OFWs should be careful and should respect the laws and regulations,” Philippine Vice-Consul Edwin Mendoza said.

Similarly, the Consulate-General of the People’s Republic of China in Dubai also reminded all Chinese citizens who live, work or travel in the UAE, particularly in Sharjah, to know and strictly abide by all the laws, regulations and customs of the country, respect Islam and live harmoniously with the locals. “The same reminder is also published on our website,” Chinese Consul Lin Xianxin said.

“Our office from time to time reminds Japanese nationals and travellers to respect local rules and regulations. We remind them again as a general notice,” Japanese Consul for Economic Affairs Kenji Saito told Khaleej Times.

He said the Sharjah Police responded to the query of the Japanese Consulate-General regarding the issue of ‘accessories for men’, saying that it is handled under the Shariah, which is applicable for Muslims.

Mohammed Owais, 56-year-old Pakistani, who has been working in a bank in the emirate for six years, welcomed the strict enforcement of the law. “This is a Muslim country, so men should not wear shorts, nor women expose their body, especially during Ramadan. Men, as provided in Shariah, should not wear accessories that will identify them with ladies. I favour the strict implementation of Sharjah laws and regulations.”

Mohammed Ibrahim, 26, an Indian salesman with Game City at Mega Mall, said the strict enforcement of the laws and regulations in the emirate is a step forward. “This is a very good job by the Sharjah government because if indecent behaviour and improper dresses are unchecked, they will spoil the culture of this country.”

A 25-year-old Emirati, Alya Al Shaiba, said everyone in the country should follow the rules and must respect the law as this is an Islamic state. “Ladies should dress properly to earn respect.” Josephine Doria, 34-year-old Filipino assistant nurse at Central Private Hospital, said that she favours the strict enforcement.

“Personally, I would like my blouse to be long that covers the body up to the middle of the legs. I feel uncomfortable to see young couples holding hands in public.”

lily@khaleejtimes.com

afkarali@khaleejtimes.ae



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