Defiant Iranian women counter Raisi's strict Hijab campaign

Story by  Aasha Khosa | Posted by  Aasha Khosa • 1 Years ago
Mitra Hijazipour, international chess player who didn't use Hijab and was removed by the iranian Chess Federation from the National team (Twitter)
Mitra Hijazipour, international chess player who didn't use Hijab and was removed by the iranian Chess Federation from the National team (Twitter)


New Delhi

Iranian women are posting videos of themselves publicly removing their veils on July 12 that was declared as the "National Day of Hijab and Chastity" by the Ebrahim Raisi regime that is increasingly imposing a stricter version of head-covering veil on women.

The scenes of women resisting the fashion police’ units, officially called the Guidance Patrols, whose personnel were seen questioning them and even trying to arrest them for not wearing a proper hijab have been posted on social media. The videos are shot by the onlookers.

On Tuesdday, the women activists had given a call for the nationwide protests and observing a No Hijab day as against the government's day to impose greater compliace of full Hijab that asks women not to show their hair in public. Several men also walked with women to show their support for women demanding freedom.

President Ebrahim Raisi, a cleric supported by the country’s ultra conservative religious elite, described the recent backlash of mostly young people to the hijab law as “an organised promotion of moral corruption in Islamic society.”

The Iranian security forces have stepped up their moral policing patrols across Iran to reinforce the strict dress code in recent months, and many women are rebelling against the stricter rules.

The law in Iran requires women to wear a head covering, but the restrictions vary from one administration to the next, depending on the political background of the incumbent president. 

Since Raisi’s victory last year, more restrictive guidance has been introduced, and officials have given directives to refuse “badly veiled” women into government offices, banks, and public transport. 

Iranian women have followed the Islamic hijab rule for the past four decades, since it was mandated after the Islamic Revolution in 1979. People have found ways around the limitation of the laws to wear colourful fabric and show some of their hair. Religious scholars have long been concerned about this, saying they are breaching the Islamic republic’s principles of “chastity and hijab” guidance.

The Imam of Tehran’s Friday prayers, Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami, bashed women who defied the regime’s mandatory hijab laws in his sermon and said, “Stealing, embezzling, and removing hijab are all sins, and by the way, the majority of those unveiled women are either wives or daughters of those thieves.” 

In June, the Raisi regime introduced two organisations to tackle the “badly veiled” phenomena. A number of incidents circulated on social media showed women contesting the authorities.

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In an incident in Shiraz, a city known for its loose implementation of the dress code, a group of teenage girl and boy skaters gathered, with girls not wearing their headscarves on the 23rd of June. Ten of them were arrested.