Published: Less than 30 min ago
22-year-old Mahsa Amini was killed for wearing her headscarf the wrong way.
Now women in Iran are protesting and going against the country’s laws – by burning their headscarves.
– You see every day how young women are arrested by the morality police, beaten and pushed into cars, says Sara Mohammad, founder of the national organization GAPF.
Last week, 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, whose Kurdish name was Jina, was killed by morality police in Iran for improperly wearing her headscarf. But the local police claim that Amini died as a result of health problems.
– The regime has produced a film that is fake, I am convinced of that. You see every day how young women are grabbed by the morality police, beaten and pushed into cars. Everything suggests that this is what happened to Mahsa Amini, says Sara Mohammad, founder of the national organization GAPF, formerly the national association Don’t Forget Pela and Fadim.
Now video clips of the violent protests in the country are being spread all over the world. Women burn images of the country’s leaders, burn their headscarves and cut off their hair in a symbolic display of defiance, writes CNN.
At least 17 people have been killed and hundreds injured during the protests, according to AFP News.
– Here we have the Iranian women who risk their lives by taking off and burning their hijab. Hijab has never been a garment, it is a brand of chastity. We have to understand it.
– Iranian women’s liberation attempts are a light in the tunnel. They fight with beaks and claws. They are brave.
“Could get worse before it turns”
Since the Islamic revolution in 1979, it is illegal for women not to wear headscarves. Women are also not allowed to wear tight pants, torn jeans or colorful clothes.
In 1981, women were, by law, forced to dress in modest “Islamic” clothing, writes BBC. Which means that women more or less have to cover their entire body.
Two years later, Parliament decided that women who did not cover their hair in public could be punished with 74 lashes. More recently, up to 60 days in jail have been added to the sentence.
Since then, authorities have had difficulty enforcing these laws, as women of all ages are regularly seen pushing the boundaries by wearing less covering clothing and colorful headscarves while showing more of their hair. Something that has only increased with the protests.
– It is progressing in such a way that they dare to defy the regime. But at the same time, they are forcing the regime to back down and that means that it can get worse before it turns around. More is required.
The women’s issue must come first
Sara Mohammad now hopes that Mahsa Amini’s death will be some kind of turning point.
– That it affects partly that people oppose the regime and that those who are supporters drop out, that divisions increase between the phalanxes of the Islamic terror regime. I also hope that the regime affects the Western world’s view of the hijab and Islam.
Now it is not only women in the country who condemn the violence against women by the morality police. Both the UN and several world leaders have now come out and condemned the violence against Amini.
– I do not believe in a reform within the current Iranian rulers, but the people want the Islamic rule and Sharia law removed. They want a democratic and secular state.
On the other hand, Mohammad is worried that the women’s issue will be forgotten.
– What worries and disappoints me is that the women’s issue has turned into a “Kurdish issue” in the Western world. Nationalism comes first and then the women’s issue. You can’t turn it around. This is a hijab issue where brave women are protesting.