By: Eram Fatima, Asstt. Editor-ICN
NEW DELHI: Women doing away with hijab in Iran starts from a journalist, Alinejad’s campaign which focuses on one of the central symbols of theocratic rule. Mandatory hijab or modest dress which enshrined in Iran’s post-revolutionary legal framework which is based on Qur’anic injunctions made many women follow that but Alinejad’s project was born by an expression of joy, a photo of her that she posted running through the London Street with her hair aloft, which she noted, later, would be a crime in Iran. The photo and message went viral and that unexpected outpouring support brought a movement, first on Facebook page, trademarked as ‘My stealthy freedom’ that invited Iranians to post their pictures without hijab too. Within a month the page had nearly 500,000 likes. It was followed in 2017 by a hashtag campaign encouraging women to wear white scarves on Wednesday to protest laws requiring hijab.
In Iran, the issue has long been lobbied. In 1936, the first Pahlavi Shah issued a decree that prohibited veiling in a bid to remodel his country and indoctrinate a sense of national identity. Even still since the start of the post-revolutionary era, the efforts to impose and enforce the hijab by the state on the inhabitants of the Iran provoked severe backlash. Soon after the monarchy was collapsed hints of clampdown on women’s dress prompted some of the first protest of post-revolutionary era, drawing thousands of women to the streets in March 1979 to warn imposing the headscarves by the new leadership because in some way, they thought, it was threatening their rights.
Making hijab compulsory was the sartorial apprehension of the broader imposition by Iran’s post-revolutionary leaders. If talking about hijab whether we should wear it or not is clearly indicated by the Almighty, (And whoever turns from my remembrance indeed, he will have a depressed life, and We will gather him on the Day of Resurrection, blind. He will say, ‘’ My Lord, why have you raised me blind while I was the seeing? ‘’ Allah will say, ‘Thus did Our signs come to you, and you forgot them, and thus will you this Day be forgotten.’’) Quran 20:124-127.
So wearing hijab is not actually a personal choice, you are certainly not free to do as you think fit, you are a slave of Allah and you have no right to disobey His orders.
In Iran everything is based on the contested elections and that is the reason, this restriction caused severe pushback among women. While mandatory hijab certainly matters, it is for the Iranian women to decide what level of priority to accord it.