Iranian Men Wear Hijabs to Protest Morality Law

The #meninhijab movement, from My Stealthy Freedom facebook page
The #meninhijab movement, from My Stealthy Freedom facebook page
Photo of India Doyle
8 January 2017

Striking photographs have surfaced across social media of men in Iran wearing hijabs, in protest of the country’s headscarf law requiring women to veil their heads in public.

Local journalist Masih Alinejad, behind the website “My Stealthy Freedom,” launched the social campaign as a response to the so-called Gashte Ershad, or “guidance patrol,” who reportedly can arrest women who don’t adopt conservative Islamic dress code. The new hashtag #MenInHijab has gone viral, inviting men to engage and work to change the laws as well. The site’s Facebook page now has over a million likes.

Currently in Iran, women who defy the country’s strict morality laws are branded as dishonourable, facing fines or imprisonment. In an interview with the Huffington Post, Alinejad noted the backlash this new wave of activism has engendered: “People outside of Iran have reacted [to the campaign] by saying ‘you’re ruining the face of Islam’ or ‘Islam doesn’t actually force anyone to wear a hijab.’ We have to educate them. In Iran, it’s compulsory. In some other countries [wearing a hijab is] just a cultural norm,” she said.

خیلی حس بدی است با اينكه من اين حجاب را براي يك مدت كوتاه پوشيدم ولي مطمئن هستم حس وحشتناك تري است وقتي کسی را براي همه عمرش مجبور به پوشيدن حجابي كه اعتقادي به آن ندارد. من با حجاب مشکلی ندارم ولی با اجباری بودن حجاب مخالف هستم دوست ندارم خواهر و مادرم به خاطر ترس از حکومت دیکتاتوری مجبور به پوشش حجاب اجباری باشند بزرگترین مشکل بانوان کشور من مغز های متحجر حاکمان و تند رو ها هست که با توهین و تهدید مردم را مجبور به رعایت قوانین نادرست خود میکنند. فكر مي كنم مردم آگاه تَر از مغزهاي متعصب مسولان هستند و خيلي دردناكه كه در قرن بيست و يك ما شاهدين زنان در كشورهاي دنيا حق رييس جمهور شدن و نخست وزير شدن دارند ولي نظام ما به زنان ايراني كه شصت در صد دانشگاه ها رو هم تصاحب كردند اجازه انتخاب لباس تن شون رو نمي ده. اميدوارم صداي زنان ايراني شنيده شود و اولين حق ابتدائي شان به آنها پس داده شود. Wearing the veil, for even for a short stretch of time, was something that conjured up a bad feeling. I cannot imagine how horrible it must feel for women who are obliged to wear it throughout the rest of their lives. I want to make it clear that I have no problem with the veil; I am merely against the compulsory veil. I do not like the fact that my sister and my mother have been obliged to wear the veil out of fear because we have a repressive government in Iran. The biggest problem that women in our country are afflicted with is the mentality of the conservatives in power. These conservatives have been imposing their way of living on ordinary people by means of insults and threats. I certainly think that people in Iran have grown enlightened enough not to fall for the bigotry of the officials. It is indeed poignant to realise that in this day and age, while women are running for presidency elsewhere in the world, women of Iran, who constitute more than 60% of university students in the country, are simply deprived of the freedom to choose their own dress. I sincerely hope that the voice of Iranian women will be heard world-wide and that they will get to enjoy their most basic right. #meninhijab #مردان_باحجاب @mehdifarshi

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But support for the movement has been equally as strong: “Most of these men are living inside Iran and they have witnessed how their female relatives have been suffering at the hands of the morality police and humiliation of enforced hijab,” she told the Independent, having already received 30 images of men wearing hijab in July.

The campaign comes at a time when all eyes are on the Middle Eastern nation, as it is only recently that the UN-imposed economic sanctions on it were lifted. Whether #MenInHijab will change the morality laws remains to be seen, but it is a powerful call for a new culture in Iran.

Happy girl's day! 👸😹

A photo posted by Shervin (@sh3rvn) on

ENGLISH FOLLOWS LE FRANÇAIS SUIT نادان متعصب را هرگز نمي شود درمان كرد….تعصب کور‌‌کورانه انسان بینا را کودن میکند … تعصب یک امر اشتباه است، حال فرقی نمیکند که این تعصب نسبت به دین، مذهب، نژاد، قوم، رنگ و حتی فردی باشد … تعصب فقط نامش تعصب است … انسان متعصب برای مخفی کردن ضعف اجتماعی خود همواره در حال فرافکنی ، تهمت ، افتراء ، دروغ پردازی ، جعل سازی و … نسبت به منتقدان خويش است You can't cure prejudiced ignorance. Blind preconceptions can make any insightful person dumb. It's wrong to be prejudiced, whether on religious, sectarian, racial, ethnic, color or individual grounds. Prejudice is just that: prejudice. If you are afflicted by it, you will constantly try to hide that social flaw, by projection, false accusations, spreading lies, and baking up stories against your critics. #MenInHijab #مردان_باحجاب En français / In French: —– #IRAN #LIBERTE #FURTIVE #FEMININE On ne peut pas soigner les préjugés issus de l'ignorance. Les idées préconçues, aveugles, peuvent rendre sourd n'importe quelle personne perspicace. Il est mauvais d'avoir des préjugés, que ce soit religieux, sectaires, raciaux, ethniques, sur la couleur ou sur des bases plus particulières. Un préjugé, c'est juste ça : un préjugé. Quand on en a, on essaye en permanence de cacher ce travers social en faisant des projections, des fausses accusations, en répandant des mensonges et en appuyant les histoires allant contre ceux qu'on critique. #MenInHijab #HommesEnHijab #MyStealthyFreedom

A photo posted by دین من خرد من است (@rezaeinikshahla) on