Modesty guard

Modesty guards or Modesty Patrols either request or force women to dress modestly, depending on the country and the location.

The definition of modesty is different in each location. For example, in the Western Wall in Jerusalem, women simply have to cover their shoulders and not wear shorts, while in Iran their body and hair has to be covered. Iranian women are also jailed if their clothes are revealing while making a video posted online.

At the Western Wall, JerusalemEdit

The modesty guards at the Western Wall in Jerusalem implement a modest dress code. They ask women to cover up.[1]

In Haredi communities, IsraelEdit

In Israel, the term mishmeret tzniyut (Hebrew: משמרת צניעות; also tzniyut patrol, modesty squad, chastity squad) refers to an unofficial vigilante gang which acts to enforce a code of modesty among the Haredi public through violence and intimidation. The conduct of these gangs is illegal in Israel.

Modesty guidelines at government-sponsored events, IsraelEdit

According to an article in the Independent in 2016, "Israel's Culture Ministry is to introduce new rules about how modestly performers should dress at government-sponsored events. 'Festivals and events funded by public money will respect the general public, which includes different communities,' a Culture Ministry spokesperson said. The announcement comes after a singer at a government-backed beach concert near Tel Aviv said she was ordered off stage for wearing a bikini top."[2]

Modesty Patrols in IsraelEdit

Modesty Patrol operate in the Haredi Jewish communities. They can be intimidating and even violent. Their conduct is illegal under Israeli law. They have torched stores for selling certain electronic equipment. They some times hurl stones at women who do not dress according to their strict dress code and have even broken into a woman's house and beat her up, because they did not approve of her behavior.

In 2006, Micky Rosenfeld a police spokesman said; "The modesty police are not organized, just rogue enforcers carrying out isolated attacks." But Israel's Justice Ministry used the term modesty patrols in an indictment against a man who assaulted a woman in Jerusalem.[3]

Guidance Patrol in IranEdit

Guidance Patrol (Persian: گشت ارشاد, Gašt-e Eršād) is the main Islamic religious police, or vice squad in the Law Enforcement Force of Islamic Republic of Iran, established in 2005. They impose Islamic dress codes and norms of conduct in public, particularly regarding the hijab of women. The Iranian force has even arrested a number of women over videos that were posted on Instagram. In 2018 they arrested 17-year-old gymnast Maedeh Hojabri, over a video of her dancing. The State TV in Iran aired her forced "confession".[4][5]

In 2016 Tehran's police sent around 7,000 undercover officers to lookout for those who do not follow conservative Islamic modes of dress and behavior. They are called the Gashte Ershad, the "guidance patrol," and they have broad powers to scold and arrest people for failing to meet the modesty test.[6]


  1. ^ Hasit, Arie (3 September 2012) "Oppressing Jewish women does not make the Western Wall holy". Haaretz Retrieved on 22 August 2014.
  2. ^ "Israeli government to issue guidelines for how women should dress 'modestly'". The Independent. 2016-08-29. Archived from the original on 2022-05-15. Retrieved 2019-08-25.
  3. ^ ""Modesty Patrols" Sow Fear In Israel". Retrieved 2019-08-25.
  4. ^ Dehghan, Saeed Kamali (2018-07-09). "Woman arrested in Iran over Instagram video of her dancing". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2019-08-25.
  5. ^ Novak, Matt. "Girl Arrested in Iran for Posting Videos of Herself Dancing on Instagram". Gizmodo. Retrieved 2019-08-25.
  6. ^ "Springtime In Iran Means The 'Morality Police' Are Out In Force". Retrieved 2019-08-25.