Iran: Crackdown on Women Again


Iranian police have begun to crackdown on women's dress. After the Islamic revolution of 1979, women have been obliged to cover their hair and wear long, loose-fitting clothes to disguise their figures and protect their modesty.

Thousands of Iranian women were warned about their poor Islamic dress this week and several hundred were arrested in the capital Tehran in the fiercest crackdown in more than a decade for what's known as “bad hijab”.

In recent days many blogs, sites and personalities protested the police action. Iranian bloggers, of course, discussed the crackdown and displayed photos and videos of crying women. Some reminded their readers that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad promised during his presidential campaign that there would be no crackdown on women's dress. Nikahang, a leading cartoonist and blogger focuses on this broken promise in a cartoon in which Ahmadinejad is looking at his promises and says “it was not me”.

Watching women cry

Kosoof has published a video which shows a woman forced into a car by police during the crackdown on women’s dress. The woman is shouting “I do not want to get in.”

Just good for election

Mohammad Ali Abtahi, former vice president,says

Summer is coming and, as usual, the issue of ladies and their veils has started. But most of the ladies, who are going to receive punishment for their improper veils, are the ones who become dear at the time of election and can be seen as they really are on TV when they are interviewed about the necessity for taking part in the election.

Before 1979

Azarmehr writes:

Pictures below show the latest round of state crackdown on women who have not fully observed their Islamic dress code. The way Iranian women push back their scarves and cheekily show their hair is often praised by Islamic Republic apologists as how “liberal” Islamic Republic is. They conveniently forget that it never used to be like this in Iran before 1979.

Forced Paradise

Hanouz remembers [Fa] the dark years of the 80's in Iran when daily repression was regular. The blogger writes that we are returning to twenty years ago when the Iranian state wanted to force their idea of paradise by establishing propaganda and security organizations. The blogger says that it is painful to return to those years and that the state has spent huge amounts money and energy over the last twenty years to educate a new generation according to its doctrine but failed and now uses its resources to repress the same generation.


Alpar writes [Fa] that what seems like a crackdown on women in the streets is not legal, rational, or Islamic. What is the difference between Iranian society and Talibanism, the blogger asks, only 10 centemeters? Violence and hatred are common elements between the Taliban and those who suppress women.

“A danger for national security”

Jomhour says [Fa] that security forces took photos of the women in so-called ‘bad hijab and keep the records in a database. He says it is worse than acting against drug smugglers and says some newspapers criticized the crackdown but very soon were warned to not interfere in security actions. He goes on to say that some authorities accused these women as a threat to national security.

Any trace of the veil in Quran?

Thanks to Kamangir we learn even some conservative bloggers crticized government for repressing women. Kourosh [Fa] doesn't know who mandated the veil in this general and widespread form. Neither in history nor in the life of the prophet do you hear anything about this. Even if the veil is mandatory, which it is not, it is not so all-encompassing. Furthermore, I don’t know how they infer that the veil is mandatory…They refer to the Quran and scholars. I have read the same books and I have not found any trace of the veil in either Quran or the life of the prophet.


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