What will happen with controversy Islamic hijab in Iran once the people of Iran get rid of the Islamic regime? This question might be answered by the four following options:
1- Muslim fanatics even after the fall of the Islamic regime are expected to uphold hijab as a tradition of their religion. With bated breath for the release of new version of hijab. Hijab for them does not forcibly represent an emblem of Islamofascism, but rather an apolitical tradition and thus a religious duty. They will water down the notorious weight of hijab by differing it as to whether hijab should be required to be shrouded form a head-to-toe black chador to a thick scarf. It would be enough to cover the hair, neck, shoulders, and bosom by a thick scarf to match both their Islamic tradition and a bit fashionable styles.
2- Female Muslims would not consider hijab as Islamic self-assessment, nor as an acceptance of Islamism. They look down on full face cover women, would reject Islamic hijab, but not forcibly hijab. For them, Islamic hijab is an old dated tradition which does not fit today’s norms of emancipated woman and participation of women in all spheres of social life, but are not against that. This is similar to women’s individual freedom under the Shah. To this category all Muslim women will belong who are today compelled to wear Islamic hijab under the Mullah’s regime.
3- All other women who for political or conscious achievements are fed up with the supremacy of Islam throw away hijab. People with such ideas would propose radical laws prohibiting or restricting limiting Islamic hijab. In a radical form, they will propose ban of Islamic hijab in any form on public places. They would argue that the wearing of any garment that obscures the face and prevents identification of a female, in schools, universities, sport clubs, government office, at any entertainment venue, and on any means of public transportation must be banned. The primary purpose of such a ban is to liberate women from irrational restrictions. This option targets devout Muslims and especially the leftovers of the Islamic regime, those who consider Islamic hijab as an obligatory code of dress for women in Islam.
4- There will be a liberal category who argues that women are free to choose themselves: from the head-to-toe black chador, women in full burqa and Islamic headscarf and any form of clothing so far as in mini skirt “minijupe”, and bikini. This category follows unconditional liberty of individual freedom. For them, hijab or non-hijab should not be an obligatory and mandatory decision imposed by the state. Muslim parents can decide for child hijab and force their daughters of any age to wear hijab, for “moral or safety” reasons, not to participate in entertainments, sports, play, and in other words all a girl with Islamic hijab cannot or is too limited to do.
Ban of hijab in Iran was first experienced by Reza Shah in 1936. The process took different steps such as approving the unified clothing. However, the influence of Islam was still too imposing. Most women refused running “naked” in the streets and stayed mostly home. Reza Shah's forced unveiling diminished with the end of his reign when he was deposed by the Allies 1941 in favour of his son Mohammad Reza Shah. Reza Shah’s secular ambitions, including unveiling, were inspired from Mustafa Kemal Atatörk, but without sufficient support of Iranian population. Islamic hijab came back after his reign namely under his son.
Today, there is no such an analogy between Reza Shah’s forced unveiling and a ban of hijab. Most Iranians consider hijab as an obvious manifestation which is linked to political Islam rather than Islam itself.
Wearing of Islamic hijab is today an obstinate symbol of Islamism; it is therefore banned or restricted in many democracies because of people’s demand due to the pressure of people. In France full hijab in banned in public, religious signs like hijab are forbidden in primary and secondary schools. Even Russia, an alley of the Mullah regime, banned Muslim girls from attending classes while clad in any form of Islamic hijab.
Similarly, hijab ban or hijab restriction seems to be a likely option of the people of Iran after the fall of the Islamic regime. This will not be a matter of a state, but rather a demand of fervent people in a free Iran who believe that Islam and modern cultures cannot live next to each other. They will see hijab as an affront to society's values and will not feel good to see veiled women still exposing Islamic emblem around.
It can be very psychologically imaginable that in free Iran hijab will be exclusively associated with the plague of the Islamic regime, as the Swastika is Germany is associated with all evil. Hijab will also remind women of all misogynistic and sickening measures the regime committed by any means including the Morality Police, acid-throwing, harassment, and humiliation of “bad-veiled” women.
As the history of World War II unfolded, the victory of the Allies upon the Nazi Germany caused a ban of all fascist symbols. Namely, no Swastika, no Nazi uniform, no Nazi salute…. is permitted in Germany.
Hijab ban will be similarly a victory of Iranians upon the regime of Nazi; it is a victory of the secular assumption and attitude of men-women equality. Hijab will therefore be banned as a symbol of collective prejudices under Islamofascism because it represents more than an Islamic tradition, namely an emblem of political Islam. Furthermore for many average Iranians, not forcibly nationalists or anti-Arabs, the ban of hijab is also a respect for the values of Iranian pre-Islamic civilisation.
Considering these four options, any new state in free Iran has a big task to adequately deal with Islamic hijab.
[Image courtesy Reuters]