Western Feminists Silent as 29 Women Jailed in Tehran for Removing Their Headscarves

29 women have been arrested in the Iranian capital of Tehran for violating its compulsory headscarf decree, according to Iranian media.

Tasnim, a private news agency in Iran, reported that 29 women had been arrested, though it was not revealed where the arrests were made.

The arrests come in light of protests against the hijab which have been occurring over the past few weeks. Iranian feminists have been pictured removing their hijabs in public and holding them up on sticks as a mark of defiance, uploading pictures or videos of them doing so on social media.

Women in Iran have been protesting against the mandatory hijab since the law was introduced in 1979 after the Iranian revolution.

Iranian police stated that the protest had been instigated by illegal satellite channels outside of the country.

“Following calls by satellite channels under a campaign called White Wednesdays, 29 of those who had been deceived to remove their hijab have been arrested by the police,” a statement read. 

The exiled Iranian activist who started the “White Wednesday” campaign, Masih Alinejad, told CNN that “The movement started inside Iran. It has nothing to do with forces outside of Iran. This is a campaign that’s been going on for years and years. The women of Iran have long been ignored. We’re just giving them a platform.”

An Iranian protestor holds her headscarf on a stick, via Arab News

A female Iranian politician, Soheila Jolodarzedeh has said of the protests, “they’re happening because of our wrong approach. We imposed restrictions on women and put them under unnecessary restrains. This is why […] girls of Enghelab Street are putting their headscarves on a stick.”

Iran’s prosecutor general Mohammad Jafar Montazeri rejected this viewpoint, calling the protests “childish,” instigated “from outside the country,” and “emotionally charged.”

Iranian-American analyst Holly Dagres, however, told Al Jazeera that the Iranian authorities are aware that more than half the population opposes wearing the hijab, saying, “it’s evident by the fact that the morality police are on constant patrol of the streets of major cities like Tehran. Authorities know that if they don’t crack down, Iranian women will continue to test the boundaries of what they can and cannot wear.”

Micro-aggressions in the workplace don’t seem like such a big deal now, do they ladies?

feature image via Rare Historical Photos 



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