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It all starts with one simple sentence, spoken almost in a whisper, but which has a thunderous effect.
A female police officer deployed in Tehran's latest moral crackdown tells a woman that her manto (overcoat) is too short and infringes Iranian Islamic dress rules.
"Azizam (my dear), good afternoon, if possible could we have a friendly chat, please allow us to have a small chat," the officer, a graduate of Tehran's police academy, tells the young woman.
First, women are given a verbal warning on the street. If the problem is not resolved there, they are taken to the police station for "guidance" and to sign a vow not to repeat the offence. Should this be unsuccessful, their case is handed to the judiciary.
"Sure my manto is short, but there are many others whose clothes are more seductive than mine and they walking by without any punishment," one of the arrested girls in the minibus complained bitterly.
The arrested women will now go to a "centre for combating vice".
The victory of the Justice and Development (AK) Party in Turkey's elections has caused great concern, with opponents at home simply unable to believe that it has shed its Islamist image.
The diplomatic community is more sanguine about the question of Islamism but worries instead that the party may not have the experience to govern a country so beset with problems.
... strong theocratic pressures are already visible in the Republican national coalition and its leadership, while the substantial portion of Christian America commited to theories of Armageddon and the inerrancy of the Bible has already made the GOP into America's first religious party.
Its religiousity reaches across the board - from domestic policy to foreign affairs. Besides providing critical support for invading Iraq, widely anathematized by preachers as a second Babylon, the Republican coalition's clash with science has seeded half a dozen controversies. These include Bible-based disbelief in Darwinian theories of evolution, dismissal of global warming, disagreements with geological explanations of fossil-fuel depletion, religious rejection of global population planning, derogation of women's rights, opposition to stem-cell research, and so on. This suggests that U.S. society and politics may again be headng for a defining controversy such as the Scopes Trial of 1925.