- Faren Taghizadeh
- persian bbc
Women in Iran have protested against compulsory hijab by removing their headscarves in public and posting images on social media.
“No compulsory hijab! Today I drove all the way to work without wearing a headscarf to say no to the rules. Our dream is to be free to choose what to wear,” an Iranian woman tells the camera in a video posted on Internet.
Human rights activists urged women across the country to post videos of themselves removing their hijab in public, coinciding with July 12, the National Day of Hijab and Chastity in Iran’s official calendar.
Dozens of women responded to the call, despite the risk of being arrested for this act of civil disobediencewhich goes against the country’s laws on “Islamic dress”.
Women from different parts of the country recorded videos of themselves in parks, city streets and even the beach, showing themselves without their hijabs, some wearing summer tops and shorts.
In a video shared by thousands of people, a woman is seen walking along a boardwalk, before removing her hijab, letting it fall to the ground, then stepping on it and walking away.
That same day, the authorities organized massive public gatherings of women wearing the hijab to celebrate their “Islamic protection”.
State television also broadcast a “Hijab and chastity” ceremony, with a choreographed performance by women in long white robes and green headscarves in the national colors.
Meanwhile, on Persian social media, the hashtag created for the anti-hijab campaign – which translates from Farsi as “No is no, this time no to compulsory hijab” – quickly went viral, promoted by activists as well as some journalists and opposition political figures.
Some women also took advantage of this campaign to protest against the men in power, whom they consider responsible for restricting their personal freedoms.
“You see us only in the service of your honor, as your property! You see us as weak and brittle human beings. You force us to cover our heads based on your complexes and insecurities,” said a woman from northern Iran in a video sent to the BBC Persian service, as she removed her headscarf in front of the camera.
At least five women who posted images as part of the latest campaign have been arrested, according to BBC Persa.
In Iran, there have been several similar campaigns in recent years under hashtags such as #MyStealthyFreedom and #WhiteWednesday, by women fighting for the right to choose to wear the veil.
However, the recent crackdown on the “morality police” Iranian campaign against women accused of breaking the dress code has prompted opponents of the policy to call for action.
Since the 1979 Islamic revolution in Iran, lWomen are required by law to wear modest “Islamic” clothing.. In practice, this means that women must wear a chador, a full-length cloak, or headscarf, and a manteau (coat) that covers their arms.
Some Iranian men have also supported the campaign on social media, appearing in videos alongside women protesters.
And an image showing the wall of a Tehran mosque graffitied with the message “Bread, Work, Freedom, Voluntary Cover” was widely shared online, referring to the country’s economic crisis as well as the hijab law. .
Meanwhile, the highest authority in the Iranian judiciary, Gholamhossein Mohseni Ajeei, has suggested that foreign powers are behind the campaign, instructing intelligence agencies to find the “hands behind the naked veil”.
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi has also vowed to crack down on the “promotion of organized corruption in Islamic society,” in a direct reference to the campaign.
But many women are decided to continue their protests despite threats.
“They can arrest us, but they can’t stop our campaign,” a woman said in a video posted on social media.
“We have nothing to lose. We lost our freedom years ago and we are reclaiming it again.”
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