Thursday, August 6, 2009

Female officers dress as Muslim women for a day

A police force has been accused of wasting time after three officers spent the day dressed as Muslim women in an attempt to improve community relations.

The officers dressed in traditional clothing and spent the day in Sheffield city centre with four Muslim women.

The scheme has been described as a "politically correct gimmick" and a "dressing-up game" by critics.

South Yorkshire Police said the scheme was designed to help police interact better with the Islamic community.

The officers wore brightly-coloured traditional Muslim outfits and a full-length black jilbab plus a niqab, which covers the face leaving slits for eyes.

South Yorkshire Police said the officers attracted "quite a few stares in the street, particularly from young children".

A group of Muslim women were also invited into police cells, a CCTV control room and shown other daily duties of a police officer as part of the "In Your Shoes" initiative.

I have gained an appreciation and understanding of what Muslim females experience when they walk out in public in clothing appropriate to their beliefs"
Sgt Deb Leonard

Matthew Elliott, of the Taxpayers' Alliance, said: "This is an absurd diversion from real policing.

"People want the police out catching criminals, not indulging in politically correct gimmicks.

"The police are overstretched as it is without officers being paid to do other things than their real job."

Douglas Murray, director of British extremism think-tank the Centre for Social Cohesion, said: "Like most people who have been a victim of crime, I am amazed and flabbergasted that they have solved all the crimes so they can spend a day playing dressing-up games."

A police spokesman said said the aim of the scheme was for police officers to "interact with the Muslim community, learn about the Islamic faith and better understand their issues and the perceptions of local people".

Sgt Deb Leonard, who wore some of the clothing, said: "I have gained an appreciation and understanding of what Muslim females experience when they walk out in public in clothing appropriate to their beliefs."


UniMuslimah said...

Salaam alaikum,
Hmmm..I can get why people would be frustrated with police taking a day for this. That being said, I know that certain provinces in Canada have their police go out (not in uniform) with two males holding hands in public to get a feel for what homosexuals go through. I've never heard a complaint about that. I think it's good to gain some perspective- it will change the way that the police interact with Muslims from now on (or at least how those four women do).


CooL MuslimaH said...


I Wonder how the four women felt..

May Allah guide them to the right path..ameen..

On officer in hijab is looking really cute..mashAllah.

~Cool Muslimah~

Ms.Unique said...

Masha Allah ... dats just so nice of them to be so understanding ... Hope it creates the awareness much needed ... To let Muslims live there way ...

Ms.Unique said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Candice said...

I don't have anything against them trying hijab for a day, and I think it's a good experience for them, but it does seem like it doesn't have its place to go to work for the day and get paid tax dollars to dress like Muslimahs. It's a great experience to be had on their own time.

Fatimah said...

I have a friend that wants to try wearing a hijab for a day.. I think it's a great way to step in someone's shoes.

Perspective of a Hindu: said...

I think this is a good idea for all faiths. If they did it on their day off then there shouldn't be any criticism. Maybe I skipped over it in the article but I didn't see if it said it was done on their day off or not.

Quest said...

this is a vital topic to keep in mind, and think about....


Irish muslimah :P xxx said...

brilliant :) x

lil Hijabi said...

you recieved an award:D

Anonymous said...


I believe it was a great thing the ladies did. Believe it or not, it gives them perspective on how to understand and interact with the muslim community. Police dress everyday like other people, homeless, drug dealers, etc in order to understand different types of people and situations and it helps them not only protect the community but also helps them with communication, understanding, etc. When I decided to learn about Islam part of learning was trying to partake in many things muslims do as a way of life like wearing hijab, learning to pray, taking classes in a mosque to learn in depth about the religion, and fasting. I did all of those things to simply learn about the religion just as I did with different branches of christianity and judiasm. Now because I strived to "walk in another religion's shoes," I found Allah in Islam, reverted to be a muslim, and married a muslim man. Alhumdilulah, what some see as unfruitful labor can sometimes be more fruitful than originally believed to be. Inshallah, maybe the women will be able to show that an open heart and an open mind is the way to peace and inshallah, maybe they will convert.