Iranians Say No to Hijab on Facebook
|August 28, 2012|
Gender equality was a part of Iran’s revolution in 1979, but this changed drastically. It became a revolt against Iranian women. The problem started with forcing them to wear veils and as it progressed, women lost custody of their children.
Now over 30 years later, Iranian college students have started a cyber-campaign on Facebook asking people to ‘say no to forced veiling for Iranian women’. These students are not against the Hijab, they say if a woman chooses to wear a veil, it is respectable, and differs from being forced to wear it.
Salman Sima is a 28 year old university student who left Iran two years ago. He was arrested before the inception and after the height of Iran’s Green Movement in Iran and went on hunger strikes during both arrests.
Salman is a religious man and a member of this Facebook campaign. He is happy that the campaign has been successful in the Iranian community, but keeps his expectations low: “we can’t change the veiling law in Iran now, but we can start by stating that it is forced and not a person’s choice. It is a step toward changing our culture. Many religious men have participated in this campaign. These men were not ready to take a stance on such a religious symbol a couple of years ago.”
Salman says that one of the reasons he volunteered his time for this campaign is because Islam doesn’t force veiling: “When veiling is forced on women with low-level excuses such as protecting men from committing a sin, it is an insult to men. I, as a Muslim man, feel insulted that they think I can’t control myself and I’ll be sinful if I see a woman’s hair.”
Habib Farahzadi is one of the founders of this cyber-campaign and he has had previous experience similar to this. Earlier this year, he started the Iran-Israel nations’ friendship: “We received a warm welcome from people. We received more than 1000 pictures per day and they are from different types of believers: secular, religious intellectuals, artists, and etc. Even Zahra Eshraghi, the granddaughter of Ayatollah Khomeini- the founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran, has supported this campaign.