‘An Enemy Conspiracy’, Iran President Calls For Legal Action Against Women Not Wearing Hijab
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi believes the violation of mandatory hijab law is an “enemy conspiracy. He claimed in a televised speech that Iran’s enemies had plotted meticulously to promote hijab disobedience in the Islamic Republic.
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Raisi said Iran’s response should be with “equally precise planning”. The president ordered the Iranian law enforcement community to crack down on women who are disheveling the social order by “intentionally violating” the hijab law. Raisi called for legal action against Iranian women found without hijab. He reiterated the existence of legal provisions to clamp down on hijab violators.
Since September 2022, the Iranian government has brutally cracked down on those protesting the hijab law, following the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in police custody. Islamic clerics loyal to the Iranian regime have in their Friday prayer sermons urged women to wear hijab as its mandatory in Islam. The government also took to advertisements, billboards, to convey to women that the mandatory head scarf honors their mothers.
Non-hijab Iranian women have been given verbal warnings in airports, subways, restaurants and other public places. But the protests, wherein hundreds of Iranians were killed and thousands thrown behind bars, have reignited courage to defy the government and its hijab law. Some women go about their business without the mandatory head scarf, fearlessly.
Be Flexible, Stop Religious Pressure
Moreover, some non-orthodox clerics advised the Iranian regime to “stop putting religious pressure” on citizens to guide them to heaven. But Mohamad Javed Haj-Aliakbari, an imam in Tehran, said the enemy is spreading nihilism or disbelief in Iran. He believes that in a year when Iran is getting closer to the parliament and Assembly of Experts elections, the enemy is trying to sow despair and heresy in Iran. The imam said the West, mainly the U.S., is trying to stop Iran’s progress in areas like missile development. Aliakbari also lashed out at the Iranian women for falling for the West’s lies and leaving their hijab.
Former Iranian President Mohammad Khatami slammed the government’s mandatory hijab law and called for reforms. He explained that Islam opposes vulgarity, but it is not a religion of stagnation. Islam can be flexible according to time and place. Khatami doesn’t believe in overthrowing the government. He said doing so will only lead to heavy chaos and unrest, no benefits for Iran.
UN experts warned that repressive and draconian laws are a manifestation of gender-based persecution. It will only lead to unacceptable levels of violations of the rights of women and girls in Iran. The experts said additional repressive measures will only exacerbate the negative impact. They warned that criminalizing refusal to wear the hijab is a violation of the right to freedom of expression of women and girls, and opens the door to a range of other possible violations of political, civil, cultural and economic rights.