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Iranians Use Facebook To Say 'No' To Compulsory Hijab

Iranians Use Facebook To Say 'No' To Compulsory Hijab

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Published by: Crowdsourcing.org on Jul 21, 2012
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02/03/2013

 
Iranians Use Facebook To Say 'No' ToCompulsory Hijab
Iranian officials maintain that the hijab is the best protection for womenJuly 20, 2012
Women have worn the hijab in Iran for three decades -- somevoluntarily, others begrudgingly.To not do so would be breaking the law. But now women from bothcamps are going online to push back.Dozens of Iranian women, and some men, living both inside and outsidethe country, have posted their pictures on the 
called, “No to Mandatory Hijab” that declares that
women should have the right to choose whether or not to wear theMuslim headscarf.
 
Among the posters, according to the campaign’s organizers, are women
living inside the country who voluntarily wear the chador -- the longcloak with a head scarf --
 but believe that the hijab shouldn’t be
compulsory.
The activists who launched the campaign describe themselves as “liberaluniversity students and graduates” and say it’s meant to be an express
ionof solidarity with Iranian women, who they say should have the freedomto decide what they wear.Dozens of intellectuals, journalists, activists, artists, religious andsecular Iranians have joined the campaign by posting their pictures onthe Facebook page of the campaign and expressing their opposition tothe mandatory hijab. In just a few days the page has attracted more than10,000 fans.Campaign leader Alireza Kiani told RFE/RL that at least half of the
 people who have “liked” the page live i
nside Iran. Kiani, who left Iranabout a year ago, says he was deeply bothered by the constantharassment of Iranian women over their appearance.
“It’s an insult to women but also men,” he says about the mandatory
hijab.Iranian officials claim that women who do not properly cover upthemselves lead men astray. They also maintain that the hijab --especially the chador -- is the best protection for women.
 
The 27-year-old Kiani said the campaign is aimed at stirring publicopinion about the compulsory hijab and forcing political figures andothers to take a stand.
“We’re especially targeting the reformists and religious intellectuals
who in the early days of the revolution were either supportive of themandatory hijab or kept silent about it," Kiani said.
"We believe that if tomorrow Iran will be free, if in tomorrow’s Iranthere won’t be any compulsion and mandatory hijab, those reformists,
religious intellectuals, and, in general, political figures have to take aclear stance regarding it. So that if there are changes in Iran, we willhave a document from them proving that they expressed their opposition
to the compulsory hijab.”
 The mandatory hijab -- often described as one of the pillars of theIslamic Republic -- has long been a challenge for authorities to enforce.For the past 30 years, women in Iran have been harassed, arrested, andfined for not fully observing the Islamic hijab dress code -- whichrequires them to cover their hair and body and dress modestly in public.But men, also, face pressure over their appearance or hairstyles, whenauthorities consider them inappropriate or un-Islamic.

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