Iran Protests: More power to girls fighting Islamic Patriarchy

It was September 13, and a 22-year-old girl was coming with her brother, suddenly a group of ‘officials’ stop her, and take them to a detention centre. Her brother tries to save her, but couldn’t do much. He is able to hear his sister screaming. After some while, he sees that an ambulance has reached the centre and is taking her sister. When he reached the hospital he finds her sister in a coma. He calls his family, but after three days, the girl passes away. Yes…the name of that girl is Mahsa Amini…and her only crime was not wearing the Hijab PROPERLY.

Read: My Blog on the whole Nupur Sharma controversy

Contradictory Claims to the Incident

Mahsa Amini, a girl of Kurdish descent while was going with her brother from Kurdistan’s Saqez to Tehran, to meet her relatives, was suddenly stopped by a force called Morality Police. They accused her of not wearing her Hijab properly and took her to the detention centre. His brother tried to talk to the authorities, but they said that they are just taking her for a one-hour reeducation class. He was sitting outside the room only when Amini was being ‘schooled’ inside and he said that he was able to hear her screams.

Suddenly, after a while, he saw that an ambulance is called and his sister is taken to the hospital, where she was in a coma. Unfortunately, Amini alias Jina passed away after three days on September 16. While Amini’s family have straightway claimed that she was beaten and tortured by the police. On the other hand, the authorities shamelessly refuted the claims saying that they were just imparting her educational training her and she collapsed suddenly.

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Pic: Mahsa Amini’s pic from the Hospital

Bravery of the Protestors

Here, a Hacker Group of activists did a great job by actually ‘hacking’ the medical documents related to Amini’s death. It brought up some SHOCKING revelations. As per the documents, Amini had suffered a brain haemorrhage, bone fracture, and bone oedema. All this clearly indicated that she had suffered heavy blows on her head. Another brave doctor named Dr Hossein Karampour also came ahead and leaked some images of Amini while she was admitted. The images clearly showed that she was bleeding.

He further wrote a letter to the Iranian Medical Council for intervention in the matter to act honestly and courageously. The authorities in another shameful act to defend their previous lie released a video where a girl inside the veil could be seen falling down. The authorities claimed her to be Mahsa Amini. But the family has rubbished all such claims and demanded proper CCTV footage of the interrogation room and ambulance, but for no response.

Hijab debate: In Iran and in India, Muslim women are fighting for control  of their bodies

Pic: A powerful still from the protests in Iran

IRAN-wide Protests

The protests initially started outside the Kasra hospital (where Amini died), but slowly spread across and outside Tehran and also to Amini’s hometown Saqez. The women were shouting slogans of “Death to Dictator”. Women started burning down their hijabs on bonfires and chopping off their hair in solidarity with the women. Many women also became a part of the movement by posting online. Now, many other women also started coming up speaking about their experiences of similar assaults on them by the ‘Moral Police’.

The authorities didn’t resist showing their dictatorial traits and started a heavy crackdown against the women protestors. As a result of the crackdown, the death toll reached close to 50, and over 100 protesters got injured while over 500 were arrested. Iranian footballer Ali Karimi and filmmaker Asghar Farhadi also came out in support of the women. The hacker group again came out upfront and released multiple videos of the Iranian authority’s crackdown on women protestors, which further put the reality of Iran’s brute force in front of the world.

Kurdistan Map | The Kurdish Project

Pic: The map of KURDISH region demanding separate state


In the middle-east region, there is a group demanding the autonomous status of being a separate state. The group is not in a particular country but spread out across the countries of Iran, Iraq, Syria and Turkey (as you can see on the map). Now, the Kurds are considered quite ‘progressive’ and ‘liberal’, which straightway brings them to odd with the other conservative Islamic countries including Iran. Although the Kurds consist of 10-15% of the Iranian population, Iran has long been accused of torturing and cracking down on them, because of the reason I just mentioned. Many Kurdish writers, students and activists are arrested and tortured. So, in this story as well, one angle is coming that Iranian authorities carried out a such brutal crackdown on Amini just because she was a ‘Kurd’.

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Pic: Ayatollah Khomeini the ISLAMIC Head of State in IRAN

History of the HIJAB Law

All this started after the ISLAMIC REVOLUTION (1978-79). It installed the Islamic Head of State (currently Ayatollah Khomeini) superseding the government, which made the latter a controlled institution of the former. The movement brought many orthodox and hardcore Islamic systems into the country. also Under the new Constitution, a Hijab Law was passed in 1981. As per Article 268 of the Iran Penal Code, it is a CRIME to appear anywhere on street without Hijab.

Now the MORALITY POLICE that we talked about earlier, is a product of this ideology only. The whole job of the ‘Morality Police’ is to keep a watch on all the women and make sure that all are wearing their hijabs ‘properly’. Not just this, the government is even planning to use facial recognition technology in public transport to identify women not wearing hijabs properly.

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Pic: Comparison between the situation in INDIA and IRAN

Comparison with the situation in INDIA

Now, for obvious reasons, the incident has drawn a comparison with the Hijab protests in INDIA. If we remember correctly, the girls wanted to attend schools wearing hijabs but weren’t allowed after which the matter reached the court and is currently with Supreme Court. There was actually a split verdict on the issue, which further shows how difficult to assess this situation is and how divided opinions can be even at the top level. Now, despite how different these situations may sound, they are actually the SAME. It just shows how easily the authorities think that they can guide the course of action of anyone, especially females.

Now, I respect the opinions of both judges, but personally, I am in line with what Justice Dhulia said. I don’t care about what’s written in Quran about the Hijab, but what actually matters to me is that the girls are able to take an education. Maybe, if they get educated they won’t put their daughters in Hijab. Yes, I am not in support of the Hijab but, if that’s the cost of getting away with the Hijab patriarchy, in the long run, let be it. But, in Iran, the situation is the exact opposite. If the woman doesn’t want to wear Hijab, I won’t support anyone forcing it on her. And, that is also applicable in India, if someone is forcing Hijab on someone, one must resist that happening.

Read: My Article on the HIjab Issue in INDIA

In Solidarity with Iranian Women

First of all, these are not the first protests in Iran against the Hijab, but women have long been demanding this. Earlier in July as well, the women came out with heavy protests against the regime on the ‘Hijab and Chastity Day’. Even then the Iranian PM Ebrahim Raisi had ordered stricter rules and crackdowns against violation of the Hijab. He also put a ban on stockings, heels and ever showing their necks and shoulders. So, what we are seeing right now is the collected frustration against the regime coming out in the form of protests. Yes, I express my full solidarity with the women fighting for their rights. The authorities don’t have ANY right to guide what the girls can and cannot wear. The religious patriarchy and religious conservatism will have to bow down. More power to you girls!!!


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