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This wikipedia article mentions that some 400 women joined the Iranian police force between 1979 and 2003.

This answer gives a pretty good explanation of women working outside the home. It seems to me that police work would directly go against the guidelines in the accepted answer.

As I understand, Shia Islam is the official religion in Iran. Is this a general Shia guideline? If not, what justification is there for this type of thing?

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are you asking for the shia view? –  Al Ummat Nov 27 '12 at 21:23
    
Yes, but specifically Shia in Iran. I was surprised to find out about this because I had thought that in Islam generally, women do not have a public role in the workforce if they do work. I assume that there is some religious justification for this. –  tjameson Nov 27 '12 at 21:37
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This seems more about Muslims than Islam. That's usually an indicator that it's not a good fit for our site. –  ashes999 Nov 28 '12 at 0:31
    
I think guideline is not the right word here. As long as the job does not necessitate committing haram it is permissible. –  rowman Nov 28 '12 at 17:42
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3 Answers

Just imagine Police wants to arrest a female suspect. What to do if all the Police forces are men? In many cases there would be no solution without breaking Shari'ah laws like the situation that the Police force needs to touch or catch the female suspect.

Shari'ah has limitations on the relationships between stranger men and women, for looking or touching, some of them included in Quran and some of them in Sunnah:

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Tell the believing men to reduce [some] of their vision and guard their private parts. That is purer for them. Indeed, Allah is Acquainted with what they do. - Al Nur, 30

In this case, and many other cases you can imagine, there are female Police forces needed to respect Shari'ah laws of Maharim (محارم) and to avoid a Policeman to touch, catch or inspect a woman.

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that Ayah does not support your question at all, it only refers to guarding the sight. A similar thing came in the next Ayah after this but for women believers. I removed my downvote though. –  Al Ummat Nov 28 '12 at 0:31
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@AlUmmat If you know any better Ayah that makes restriction in relationships of stranger men and women, please feel free to edit the answer. However guarding the sight is also a limitation of Shari'ah that makes a good reason why women Police are needed in many situations, when the suspect is female –  Ali Nov 28 '12 at 16:08
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+1, as you said catching, accompanying, body searching for females, being secret police, and some other roles makes females-being-police a need like the need is for sufficient females to become physicians. –  owari Nov 28 '12 at 18:56
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In the name of Allah, the compassionate, the merciful

It is absolutely logical to use from women in the police forces to encounter with other women (for different actions). In fact the view of Shia is accurately the same as the view of Quran. For instance we can see a verse of the holy Quran which can help us,as the following verse:

قُل لِّلْمُؤْمِنِينَ يَغُضُّوا مِنْ أَبْصَارِهِمْ وَيَحْفَظُوا فُرُوجَهُمْ ذَلِكَ أَزْكَى لَهُمْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ خَبِيرٌ بِمَا يَصْنَعُونَ

Say to the believing men that they cast down their looks and guard their private parts; that is purer for them; surely Allah is Aware of what they do. (AL-NOOR,30)

As a result we can find out that even all men must cast down their look and guard their private parts, hence logically it could create some problems for men to arrest or to touch women.

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According to the rationality, and likewise in accordance with the verse of quran which inform men to be careful in their looking and protect their private parts, therefore we can figure out that the best selection is woman against woman. so it is logical for the police force of iran to use female against female without any haram touching. source: quran (alnoor.30)

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