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0Iraqi Youth Adopt Western Style despite Shiite, Shia Fasion Police in force after Ramadan

With the end of Ramadan festivities, the time has come for Iraqi residents to get back to normal life, yet some appear unwilling to revert back to the everyday, in particular in regards to what they wear. Reports are emerging of an increasing cultural rift between Islamic traditionalists and large numbers of Iraq’s youth, some of whom are keen to explore new Western styles that have been seeping into the country since the US invasion in 2003. But since Ramadan ended on August the 20th, fashion police in the capital Baghdad and the Shiite city of Diwaniyah have been keen to stifle new trends, sticking up posters and painting red crosses on photos of women in trousers. They have also reportedly been lobbying local leaders to institute a ban on unveiled women, although the government has said no such ban will be effected. Earlier this year rights activists complained that youths dressing in the ‘emo’ style popular in the West were being targeted by Shia militant groups; at least 14 youths are said to have been killed. But despite the risks, Iraqi youths seem determined to continue wearing trendy styles,and insist that choosing their look is a personal decision.