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Entries in Hijab (7)


Saudi Arabia Feature: A Precious Moment with the Religious Police (Battuta)

A sketch pokes fun at the religious police

Being new to Riyadh, I was not accustomed to the common harassment from religious police to "cover my face". In most other cities in Saudi Arabia it's rather rare to experience a run in with the country's notorious religious police, and I never had to deal with it until moving to Riyadh.

A day prior --- with my hair fully covered by Hijab --- a frustrating argument arouse when 4 religious police followed me and insisted that I cover my face. I explained my reasonable condition, as a crowd inconveniently began to surround us: only if the four religious police would first cover their faces would I cover mine. Upset by my remark, and perhaps in attempt to appear in control of the situation in the eyes of the gathered spectators, they summoned a police officer to "escort" me out of the mall.

Frustrated by the prior day's events, I decided that day to leave my little black scarf behind at home. No scarf, no tool to cover my face.

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Iran Feature: The Week in Civil Society --- Criticising the Supreme Leader and Much More (Arseh Sevom)

Mohammad Maleki and Nasrin SotoudehAll over the world, people who care about the fate of detained lawyerNasrin Sotoudeh breathed a collective sigh of relief as word came in that her demands had been met and that she had ended her 49-day hunger strike.

Dr. Mohammad Maleki wrote a powerful letter criticizing Iran’s Supreme Leader. The chief of the cybercrimes unit was sacked in the fallout of the investigation of the death of blogger Sattar Beheshti, and the Cyrus Cylinder travels to the US. HIV seems to be on the rise in Iran while nurses flee the country seeking better working conditions elsewhere. The UN has condemned Iran’s human rights abuses, demonstrators in Paris call attention to Iranian women who have been denied their rights, and German banks move to make transactions for humanitarian items such as medicine possible.

Forced hijab comes with instruction now, there are reports that the death sentence against web programmer Saeed Malekpour has been lifted, and Asghar Farhadi is named as one of Foreign Policy’s Global Thinkers.

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Iran Snapshot: "Bad Hijab" Woman Beats Up Cleric (Esfandiari)

Female "Morality Police" Enforcing "Good Hijab""I politely [told] her to cover herself up," said Hojatoleslam Ali Beheshti, an Iranian cleric in the city of Shamirzad in Semnan Province, describing a recent encounter with a woman he believed was improperly veiled.

"She responded to me by saying: 'You [should] close your eyes.'"

Beheshti said he repeated his warning to the “bad hijab” woman, which is a way of describing women who do not fully observe the Islamic dress code that became compulsory following the 1979 revolution.

"Not only didn’t she cover herself up, but she also insulted me. I asked her not to insult me anymore, but she started shouting and threatening me," Beheshti said. "She pushed me and I fell to the ground on my back. From that point on, I don’t know what happened. I was just feeling the kicks of the woman who was beating me up and insulting me."

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Iran Feature: The Week in Civil Society --- From Health Care to Hijab to Identity Crisis (Arseh Sevom)

The UNAIDS Executive Director presents the Red Ribbon Award in the category "Prevention Among/By People Who Use Drugs" to representatives of the Afraye Sabz Association. Credit: UNAIDS/C. Kleponis

This week --- Iranian organizations and individuals receive awards for their work on HIV/AIDS as Mississippi doctors try to fix healthcare inequalities by learning from Iran. The Supreme Leader puts an end to family planning. The "Unveil a Woman's Right to Unveil" goes from Facebook to the streets of Iran, residents in Neyshapour take to the streets to protest inflation,and a report shows the lopsided impact of economic sanctions on women. A group of citizens cleans a park in Isfahan and the loss of Iranian identity is lamented.

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Iran Feature: The "No to Hijab" Campaign on Facebook (Esfandiari)

Dozens of Iranian women, and some men, living both inside and outside the country, have posted their pictures on the Facebook page of a newly launched campaign called, “No to Mandatory Hijab” that declares that women should have the right to choose whether or not to wear the Muslim headscarf.

Among the posters, according to the campaign’s organizers, are women living inside the country who voluntarily wear the chador -- the long cloak with a head scarf -- but believe that the hijab shouldn’t be compulsory.

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Iran Feature: The Week in Civil Society --- From House of Cinema to "Forbidden City" (Arseh Sevom)

Photographer Hoda Rostami in her "Forbidden City"

After the Streets, “Campaign against Bad Hijab” Reaches Parks and Mountains

Last week we reported on the national re-launch of the so-called “moral security” project. The campaign has now gone beyond streets and reached mountains and parks as well.

The Forbidden City

While the Moral Security project is implemented with full force, the Iranian-Swedish artist, Hoda Rostami, challenges the treatment of her peers through the lens of her camera. Rostami’s collection of photographs from Tehran shows Iranian women freed from imposed hijab in current day-to-day situations. In an article on Tehran Review, the artist describes the motivation for her work:

My street photography soon turned into my concern for myself and others around me in a city and country that I loved, [so] I depicted it in another way, as I liked it to be. This collection is more of a manifest and an expression of words that appear to have been forbidden for years in this city.

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Islam and Women Video: Reacting to the Hijab

Last week we noted this brief documentary, noting outrage amongst some Iranian media that Sabra Jafarzadeh, the daughter of an employee of the Iranian Interests Section in Washington --- although she does not appear in the clip --- has been photographed without hijab (see bottom of article).

Readers have requested that we re-post the video, noting that the message has an importance beyond the specific story of Tehran's reaction to Jafarzadeh.

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