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A Young Woman Defies Hijab, Shedding Headscarf In Central Tehran


A video-grab shows of a woman who took off her scarf in the middle of Revolution Square, reportedly on October 29.

Another young woman who took off her headscarf on Monday, October 29, to protest compulsory hijab in Tehran, has been arrested by police, social media reports say.

Video clips show a young girl, carrying a bunch of balloons, standing at the center of the dome shaped monument in the square, taking off her headscarf for a few minutes, and wave it in the air with the balloons.

Social media footage also shows that a policeman rushes to the spot, ordering the woman to come down to be taken to the nearest police station. Meanwhile, many bystanders cheer and support the girl.

There is no information available about the identity of the young protester or her legal status, as of Mid-day, October 30.

Meanwhile, Radio Farda cannot independently confirm the time and the date of the incident.

Social media video showing the defiant woman on Enqelab square.

Public protests against compulsory hijab revved up immediately before the widespread anti-Islamic Republic establishment unrest that shook the clergy dominated Iran for more than ten days late last December in more than 100 cities across the country.

The movement was initiated by a young lady in her early thirties, Vida Movahhed, who stood at the top of an electricity box in the crowded Enqelab (Revolution) avenue in Tehran, took off her headscarf, tied it to a stick and waved it in the air, until the security forces rushed in and took her away.

Soon, Vida Movahed and several other young girls who followed her footsteps, including Narges Hosseini, Azam Jangravi, Shaparak Shajarizadeh and Maryam Shariatmadari, were branded as the "Girls of Enqelab avenue" and the epitomes of anti-hijab movement in Iran.

They were all arrested, some of them sentenced and an unknown number released on bail, pending trial.

Reportedly, more than forty young women have been arrested for publicly taking off their headscarves since the movement began late last December.

The Islamic Republic's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah ali Khamenei, has described the "Girls of Enqelab avenue" as "deceived" and dismissed their movement as "contemptible", resulting from "mind blowing exorbitant and voluminous propaganda of the enemy".

The "enemy" in the Islamic Republic's jargon usually refers to the U.S. and its allies.

Nearly four decades ago, almost immediately after the downfall of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and the establishment of the Islamic Republic, women in Iran were forced by the new clergy dominated government to cover their heads, hide their arms, legs and all curves of their bodies under a heavy flowing dress, called "manto" (manteaux).

Nevertheless, there are Twelver Shi'ite scholars, sources of emulation and Grand Ayatollahs who are against forcing women to cover themselves with hijab.

88-year old Grand Ayatollah Mohammad Is'haq al- Fayadh, one of the four most senior Twelver Shi'ites sources of emulation based in Najaf, Iraq, is the most senior Shi'a clergy against forcing women to follow the hijab regulation.

In a meeting with the head of the Islamic Republic's judiciary, mid-ranking Ayatollah Sadeq Amoli Larijani in Najaf, Iraq, al- Fayadh reminded him that forcing women cover themselves is not "effective" and "productive".

The elderly Grand Ayatollah also insisted that forcing women to wear hijab will not make the dress code "popular.”

The advice fell on deaf ears, and the practice continued.

On February 6, 2018, twelve Shi'ite scholars, described as "religious intellectuals", issued a statement against compulsory hijab, insisting that the Islamic Republic's policies in that respect had no outcome, but, "high financial costs, discrediting the religion and spiritual values as well as wasting social assets".

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