[WSF-Discuss] Iranian women discard their hijabs for 'stealthy freedom' Facebook page

Sukla Sen sukla.sen at gmail.com
Thu May 15 01:13:42 CDT 2014


Iranian women discard their hijabs for 'stealthy freedom' Facebook page
Women have been posting pictures of their brief moments of freedom after
removing their hijab in public
Heather Saul   Tuesday 13 May 2014

Women in Iran have been posting pictures of themselves after 'stealthily'
taking their hijabs off in public, in a country where it is illegal for a
female to leave the house without wearing a headscarf under Islamic law.

Over 150 photos have been posted to the Stealthy Freedoms of Iranian
page <https://www.facebook.com/StealthyFreedom> which has amassed more than
140,000 likes since it was created just a week ago by the Iranian
journalist Masih Alinejad.

Ms Alinejad, who left Iran to pursue her studies in the UK in 2009, told *The
Independent* the page began when she posted a photograph of herself driving
down a road in the country without wearing a headscarf.

The image was captioned with: "Hijab is being forced on women not only by
the Morality Police, but also out of consideration for family, through
wanting to keep a job and because of fear of judgment from others."

"I wrote that I had experienced all of these pressures too," she explained.
"I was sure that most Iranian women who don't believe in the forced hijab
have enjoyed freedom in secret, [so] I asked them if they wished to share
this moment of stealth freedom."

The picture that started it all - Masih Alinejad driving in IranThe
response she received shortly after starting the page was "staggering",
something she feels "delighted" at, but not surprised by.

In the photos, which Ms Alinejad publishes without including full names,
women in different outdoor environments can be seen after removing their
hijabs alongside a few words describing the lack of freedom embodied in
having to wear a hijab, or what it means to be briefly remove it in public.

The site is dedicated to Iranian women inside the country "who want to
share their 'stealthily' taken photos without the veil".

Ms Alinejad said: "It is a basic right for any person to have freedom of
choice. Women in Iran, along with many other countries, want to choose what
they wear. It should not be legislated nor should it be enforced."

One post shows a smiling woman stood by the Valasht Lake in Iran,
accompanied by the caption: "I was bursting with happiness to feel the wind
through my hair without someone around to see it and warn me to keep
covered properly."

In another, a woman can be seen sat by the Tomb of Cyrus in Iran with her
back turned to the camera. "The police officer who was around saw that my
daughter and I wanted to take photos with our scarves taken off," she
explains in the accompanying text.

"He said: 'Go on..take your photos the way you please. The person who has
been sleeping here for long years is the source of the whole world's
freedom and this place belongs to everybody.'"

Iran's president Hassan Rouhani has expressed more progressive views than
his predecessors since his election. On the subject of thestrict Islamic
dress code<http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/jul/02/iran-president-hassan-rouhani-progressive-views>
includes the hijab, he said he was against a crackdown on women wearing
looser clothing in the sweltering summers.

"I'm certainly against these actions," Rouhani told youth magazine
Chelcheragh in response to religious police who monitor loose hijabs and
inappropriate clothing during the warmer months earlier this year.

"If a women or a man does not comply with our rules for clothing, his or
her virtue should not come under question.. In my view, many women in our
society who do not respect our hijab laws are virtuous. Our emphasis should
be on the virtue."

However, more conservative men and women have staged protests in Tehran
demanding authorities act on women wearing 'bad' hijab.

Peace Is Doable
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