Iranian woman who removed hijab sentenced to two years in jail

It’s International Woman’s Day, so here’s a report of a non-U.S. woman being the victim of draconian laws. The Foreign Desk and The Guardian both report that an unnamed Iranian woman has been sentenced to two years in prison for removing her hijab.  Hijabs, of course, have been mandatory since the theocracy began in 1979. At that time there were mass protests in the country by women opposing mandatory covering, but they didn’t work.

From the Guardian:

Tehran’s chief prosecutor, Abbas Jafari Dolatabadi, who announced the sentence, did not give the woman’s identity but said she intended to appeal against the verdict, the judiciary’s Mizan Online news agency reported.

Dolatabadi said the unidentified woman took off her headscarf in Tehran’s Enghelab Street to “encourage corruption through the removal of the hijab in public”.

The woman will be eligible for parole after three months, but Dolatabadi criticised what he said was a “light” sentence and said he would push for the full two-year penalty.

More than 30 Iranian women have been arrested since the end of December for publically removing their veils in defiance of the law.

. . . the zeal of the country’s morality police has declined in the past two decades, and a growing number of Iranian women in Tehran and other large cities often wear loose veils that reveal their hair.

In some areas of the capital, women are regularly seen driving cars with veils draped over their shoulders.

Dolatabadi said he would no longer accept such behaviour, and had ordered the impound of vehicles driven by socially rebellious women.

The prosecutor said some “tolerance” was possible when it came to women who wear the veil loosely, “but we must act with force against people who deliberately question the rules on the Islamic veil”, according to Mizan Online.

“Socially rebellious women,” indeed! That reminds me of the “nevertheless, she persisted” criticism of Elizabeth Warren made by Mitch McConnell in the Senate when Warren criticized the appointment of Jeff Sessions as attorney general. But wait, there’s more! From The Foreign Desk:

Separately, a woman arrested last month after being pushed off a concrete block by Iranian police while protesting the compulsory hijab has been released on bail after posting a bond of nearly 50 million tomans, equivalent to roughly $13,000.

Maryam Shariatmadari was pushed off a concrete block causing her to sustain reported injuries. She was held in Shahr-e Rey prison and denied medical attention, according to those familiar with her case.

But if that’s not enough, there’s still more!

In December, a campaign using a hashtag “White Wednesdays” and showing a video of a woman waving a white hijab with her hair loose, resulted in the arrest and subsequent disappearance of one woman, whose fate sparked interest from media and rights groups across the world.

Vida Movahed, a 31-year-old mother of a young child, was arrested December 27 by Iranian authorities after a video of her waving a white hijab on the streets of Tehran went viral ahead of larger protests in the country in the days that followed.

After international condemnation, Movahed was released in late January.

Here’s that video (click on screenshot):

At least the Guardian reported this flagrant violation of women’s rights. As for other left-wing and feminist sites like Jezebel, Feministing, HuffPo, The New York Times, or the Washington Post—nothing. The feminist sites extol the hijab and its wearers (as “heroes”) more often than they decry it. It’s International Women’s Day, and let’s remember that the world’s most oppressed women aren’t in America, the UK, or Western Europe (unless they’re Muslims).


  1. claudia baker
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    “morality police” – ffs

  2. Posted March 8, 2018 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    I wonder whether Linda Sarsour and other Western “feminists” will launch a “don’t wear the hijab week” in sympathy, and as a protest at Iran’s actions.

    • nicky
      Posted March 8, 2018 at 11:38 am | Permalink

      Yeah, would love to see that day. As likely as Mr Trump deciding that the US should go completely solar within his ‘tenancy’ Not impossible, but not excessively likely either.

  3. glen1davidson
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    The feminist sites extol the hijab and its wearers (as “heroes”) more often than they decry it.

    Yes, but they have to be sure to stay with whatever is most popular at a given time.

    And the loudly presented narrative is often more popular than concern for women actually imprisoned for refusing to wear the symbols of second-class citizenship.

    It’s a matter of priorities.

    Glen Davidson

  4. Posted March 8, 2018 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    A woman should be free to wear whatever she wants. It’s just a head scarf but they have turned it to a symbol of enslavement by making it mandatory for a woman to wear not giving her an opportunity to choose. What if shes hot? What if she doesn’t like it? Where is her choice in all this?

  5. Randall Schenck
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    Maybe they will get rid of the Hijab when we get rid of the guns. Give it another 100 years or so.

    • rickflick
      Posted March 8, 2018 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

      Stupidity isn’t limited to theocracies.

    • Posted March 11, 2018 at 8:27 am | Permalink

      At least, you are not forced to carry a gun.

  6. Historian
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    Yesterday the Washington Post posted a video entitled “Women wave hijabs in protest in Iran.” But, I don’t think they have an article on the arrest of the Iranian woman.

  7. Ken Kukec
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    Does a body good to know there are women in Iran with the pluck to stand up to such oppression (as it does to know there are women in the US senate with the pluck to stand up to the bullying tactics of that good-old-boys’ club).

    • Posted March 8, 2018 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

      Such bravery in the Iranian women. Nothing I can do for them except an offer of admiration and respect.

  8. John Ottaway
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 10:43 am | Permalink

    I just posted this on Tw*tter and fully expect some form of backlash from it

    Which I find sad

  9. Heather Hastie
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    There is a White Wednesday twitter account. I regularly retweet videos from it, and also post the videos on my website. This post has made me realize I didn’t see any posts from them last week or this week – I hope that was just because I wasn’t on Twitter much!

    The group is well-organised and determined to get the law overturned.

    One success they have had is with soccer. There was an international match earlier this year (or maybe late last year) that women weren’t allowed to attend because of the mixed seating. Many men supported them, and also posted videos on the White Wednesday site. They were refusing to buy tickets if women couldn’t attend.

    There are often men who walk with their wives and mothers in support of the White Wednesday campaign for women to choose too. Also women wearing the hijab that want to continue to wear it themselves but think women should be able to choose. These are usually older women who will be able to remember pre-1979 days.

    (In case anyone doesn’t know, it is called White Wednesdays because supporters wear a white hijab on Wednesdays to indicate their support.)

  10. Posted March 8, 2018 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

    If I understand the law in Iran correctly..

    Women are free to chose how to dress in public, as long as they chose to wear the hijab

    • Posted March 9, 2018 at 6:09 am | Permalink

      That conjures up a vision of a naked woman wearing a hijab 🙂

  11. Posted March 8, 2018 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    Reblogged this on The Logical Place.

  12. Jake Sevins
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

    Sarsour has said (in an article linked on this blog) that she supports the Iranian women fighting mandatory wearing of the hijab. But she still supports the idea that it is a symbol of female empowerment.

    Seems cognitively dissonant to me, but what do I know…

    • rickflick
      Posted March 8, 2018 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

      This dissonance smacks of someone dedicated to the high principle of being a two faced politician.

  13. Mark R.
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

    Not only is this a pitiful travesty, but it’s also so damn stupid. How much money does the Iran government waste punishing, harassing and imprisoning their women. Really makes me sick.

    • rickflick
      Posted March 8, 2018 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

      But, you see, there is a much more important principle at stake here. Money is a little matter when you consider the paramount issue…preserving power in a theocracy.

      • Mark R.
        Posted March 8, 2018 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

        Sad but true.

  14. Andrea Kenner
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 4:22 pm | Permalink


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