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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Zag your dress in Kano and go to jail or pay N10,000 fine

Some people in Nigeria's second city
have been picked up for sporting hair
styles inspired by prominent
international football players, said
Mohammed Yusuf Yola, spokesman
for Kano's sharia police, or Hisbah.
Others were thrown in jail and fined
for wearing their trousers too low on
their waists, mimicking a style that
became prominent in the 1990s,
partly through the influence of some
American hip hop artists. The arrests
have followed an order by Kano state
Governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso to
cleanse the city of immoral practices
and the trend is set to continue in
the weeks ahead, said Hisbah
Director-General Abba Sufi.The Hisbah
is a state police force funded by state
govt and is not part of the federal
police."We have arrested 150 men
and women in the past week,
including prostitutes and their
boyfriends, transvestites, alcoholics
and those engaged in indecent
dressing in contravention of the sharia
legal code," Yola told AFP.
Religion has repeatedly been used as a
political issue in Kano and the
governor, seen as a moderate, has
been accused by rivals of lacking
commitment to sharia's guidelines.Yola
insisted the operation was launched to
reverse disturbing trends in the city of
some five million people and is
targeting people of various
faiths."Those arrested include Muslims
and non-Muslims and we treat them
equally because this is about morality,"
he said.
Kano, like the rest of northern Nigeria,
is majority Muslim, but the city has a
sizeable Christian minority.
Some of those arrested have been
released after paying fines ranging from
10,000 naira ($63, 46 euros) to
15,000 naira, Yola said.
"Those who could not afford the fine
are being kept in prison," he added,
but he would not specify the number
of people currently being held.

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