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Dreams of freedom in hijab and niqab: Barrister Hameed Bashani

NewsDreams of freedom in hijab and niqab: Barrister Hameed Bashani

 

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The story of the repression in the name of morality in Iran is also very strange. Miss Amini, a twenty-two-year-old woman, wears a veil. This young woman was wearing a niqab according to the instructions of the Ahle Haqm, but the style of wearing the niqab was not the same as the ruling elite of Iran thought it should be. As if she was arrested by the police for wearing the niqab differently, and then the unfortunate woman died in custody. There was an unexpected reaction to the death in police custody of Mehsa Amini, a 22-year-old woman arrested for improperly wearing hijab. People openly expressed their anger.

There were bloody demonstrations. Boycotted. Employees and laborers stopped work on a large scale. A storm arose in the whole country. Riots broke out every day, which spread to more than a hundred cities. These protests embodied the anger that Iranian women and youth felt at elite intrusions into their private lives.

This situation was nothing new for the Iranians. Iran’s current revolution is now forty-three years old. Many Iranians believe that forty-three years ago, Iran’s ruling elite relegated Iranian women to the status of second-class citizens in the name of Sharia and the Constitution. But women, especially young women, have never fully accepted this situation. They continued to reject the hijab requirement in daily life in many ways under a reactionary social order based on oppression. Some women tried to burn their headscarves. To the ruling elite, this was an act punishable by whipping and imprisonment. And these sentences continued to be pronounced. But brutal punishments did not deter women from speaking up for their rights. Violence and oppression could not end these women’s struggle and desire to make lifestyle choices. However, due to this, their anger and hatred against the ruling elite continued to increase.
After the famous revolution of 1989, the ruling elite declared that today Iran is an ideological country. This theory stands on several pillars. Among these pillars, anti-Americanism and anti-Israelism are the most important pillars, but the most important pillar is Iran’s new social system, which is based on the hijab, and which requires women to cover themselves and their faces in public need The introduction of a dress code for women was hailed as a sign of the revolution’s success.

Mandatory wearing of hijab is mandatory in the Islamic Republic. Likewise, mandatory hijab laws became a symbol of the personal liberties of the citizens of the Islamic Republic, civil liberties, and total control of the society by the ruling elite. The Islamic Republic declared the imposition of a dress code on women immediately after the revolution as a sign of the success of the revolution.

The leaders of the revolutionary state ensured that women wore what they chose and not what they chose. They banned tight clothes, bright colors and make-up. Women were ordered to cover their hair. Laws were enacted for compulsory veiling within the country, under which even girls under the age of seven were forced to wear headscarves. Those who disobeyed faced severe punishment, and were often accused of “inciting corruption and prostitution”. On this situation, many Western and Iranian intellectuals have written in their articles that Iranian women have never accepted the implementation of the headscarf in silence. In 2014 alone, Iran’s morality enforcement police warned, fined or arrested 3.6 million women for “inappropriate dress,” according to government data. The recent riots started with Amini’s death. But even before that death, Iran’s clerics could sense a growing tide against the hijab. In early July 2022, the moral police issued a warning to women that they would be arrested if they did not comply with the hijab requirement.

 

After that many were arrested. He was beaten, and forced to apologize on national TV. Surveillance cameras were installed in public places, such as subways and motorways, to identify and fine women who violate the mandatory hijab rule. In the summer this year, authorities repeatedly warned that women who posted pictures of themselves without the hijab on the Internet would be deprived of some social rights for six months to a year. . The authorities have since barred these women from entering government offices and banks and boarding public transport for failing to fully comply with the dress code. These were certainly drastic measures. But such measures did not stop Iranian women from resisting.

 

For the past decade, authorities have had to deal with resistance from Iranian women online. The state’s complete control over traditional media has led to resistance on Iranian social media, particularly platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Telegram, Twitter, and WhatsApp. Millions of people followed the social media campaign, which has been protesting Iran’s strict hijab laws and has taken various actions such as wearing the white niqab, unveiling while walking, pictures of men in hijab, and Campaigns like My Camera My Weapon are included.

These campaigns empowered women to oppose the government’s strictures. In response to these campaigns, the government introduced a 2019 law that made it a crime, punishable by up to ten years in prison, to send campaign emails. It was an attempt by the government to control a young generation that wanted social change. But such was the difficulty that, despite widespread censorship, Internet penetration in Iran at the start of 2022 was 80 percent, a record high. Although the government banned many websites and social media platforms, Iranians have found ways to circumvent censorship through the use of virtual private networks, or VPNs.

 

According to one report, about 80 percent of Iranians with Internet access have installed anti-filter and VPN software to avoid censorship. Despite these conditions, the Ahl al-Haqm could not see the writing on the wall. He remained stubborn. But after Amini’s death, after a long battle, he finally conceded defeat, and announced the end of the morality police, a victory for a new generation of Iranians who, in their choice of lifestyle, They were fighting for elections and civil liberties.

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