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Fate of Hijab after the Islamic Regime

Balatarin

 

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]

 

Balatarin

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AnonymousObserver

Anonymous Observer

I'm in the number 4 category. One of the most important foundations of a free society is personal freedom and free choice. Personal freedom does not only applies to the right to wear a bikini, but its also applies to the right to wear a hejab. I am an ardent atheist, but I also believe in individual freedoms. If someone wants to wear religious garb of any sort--so long as it's not by force, and so long as it does not forcibly deprive that person of education and employment opportunities--it's fine with me. It's their choice.

Plus, I know many Iranian women with Hejab who HATE the Islamic Republic. I have a relative whose brother was executed by the IR, and she despises the regime. Her daughters don't wear hejab either (miniskirts every time I see them), but she's fully hejab-ed.

amirparvizforsecularmonarchy

amirparvizforsecularmonarchy I Love Waterfalls and Find One of the most humorous things in the world; is the notion that Americans are a greater force for good & more civilized than Nazi's, Mullahs and Communists.

So any terrorist can just cover themselves up with a full hejab or cover themselves up in court to not be identifiable, many exceptions will need to be made. You'd have an easier time encouraging people to defecate on themselves than to wear a hejab, if we are talking about people that are truly free to think and not have their minds dumped in from birth.

AnonymousObserver

Anonymous Observer

I'm not trying to encourage people to do anything Amir jaan. I'm just saying that if people want to voluntarily wear religious clothing of any type, they should be free to do so. I mean, where are we going to draw the line? If you forcibly stop observant Muslim women from wearing a hejab, will you next stop an Iranian Catholic nun from wearing a nun's habit? How about an Armenian priest? Would you tell him to wear a suit and tie instead of his robe?

And in terms of hiding identity, people can do that with other means. What if a guy wears a hairpiece, a hat, sunglasses and a raincoat? Can we outlaw that too?!

JahanshahRashidian3

Jahanshah Rashidian

Like it or not, the controversy surrounding Islamic hijab will certainly rekindle a society which has get rid of an Islamic regime. It is more the consequence of a revolutionary fever which has the upper hand, not the conventional rights of individual freedoms.
I can imagine, even if an Islamic reformist regime replaces the present hard-line one, it must soften anti-momen laws that curb today “bad hijab” women.

Rostam3

Rostam

I agree with you on that but there is one issue here. What happens when a man forces his wife/child/sister etc. to wear a hijab despite their wishes. How do you protect women's right against such a situation?

JahanshahRashidian3

Jahanshah Rashidian

Rostan jan, this case will be a judicial case and since our new judiciary follows the universally accepted norms, then the husband will not be given such patriarchal rights. In no secular and democratic society, judicial institutions respect such disastrous and misogynistic norms.

P.Galenous

P_J. An Iranian!

Free society protect itself by adaptation of family laws and does not tolerate cruelty!

AnonymousObserver

Anonymous Observer

Dear Rostam,

That should be considered spousal / child / familial abuse. We should have laws that protect women against such conduct.

Rostam3

Rostam

Actually I feel teaching religion to children should be considered child abuse. We really fill their young minds with nonsense.

AnonymousObserver

Anonymous Observer

I'm with you on that. If you read his material, Richard Dawkins talks about it a lot as well.

P.Galenous

P_J. An Iranian!

Could not agree with you more...teaching an esoteric unproven baseless subject/idea should be forbidden!

In US you can't teach religion in public schools...you can teach history that may or may not preclude religious history not religion.

Persianawed

Persianawed

Ah, but that's where you are wrong: In USA, it is mandatory to believe in one and only one narrative of history of holocaust. Questioning the dogmatized narrative is strictly forbidden. See what happened in a California public school district when children were assigned to study two sides of the story and apply a critical analysis to their research ---http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2014/05/07/8th-grade-assignment-write-essay-about-whether-holocaust-was-real-or-made-up/

P.Galenous

P_J. An Iranian!

What does Holocaust have to do with religion? And you are wrong you can debate Holocaust, as much as you want. What you can't do is to teach religion in public schools. Giving credence to an esoteric, unproven, unscientific and asinine theory of "Creationism"

JahanshahRashidian3

Jahanshah Rashidian

Countries across Europe have wrestled with the issue of Islamic hijab. The debate goes beyond religious freedom. This aspect will be our imminent concept in Iran.

P.Galenous

P_J. An Iranian!

Dear Jahanshah,

I have seen Arab women being interviewed. They were strongly advocating and on the side of strong observation of Hijab! In Iran it is forced...and that makes a hell of a lot of difference!

JahanshahRashidian3

Jahanshah Rashidian

No doubt, we have women who are more misogynist than patriarchal men. The case is known in psychology.

P.Galenous

P_J. An Iranian!

I believe you are right. And if I am not mistaking those are the symptoms of "Stockholm Syndrome"...individuals who become sympathetic to their captors!

Raoul1955

Raoul1955

Iranians [those who hold Iranian citizenship ONLY and reside in Iran full time] will decide on their own whether to keep the traditional Persian hijab or opt for Western attire as many modern societies have done.

Mammad

Mammad Mammad

Once again, Mr. JR is at it again, espousing the views of the most reactionary elements in the West as "enlightened" thought. Islamofascism? Who came up with that first? The most reactionary and warmongering elements in the West, particularly the US. Islam being like the Nazi regime? This is simply beyond pale.

There is no need to fantasize about categories of women after the fall of IR> All one needs to do is announcing that hejab is voluntary. Those who want to wear it, for whatever reason, can, and those who do not want to, should not. If we believe in religion being a private affair, then there is no need for such "roodeh derazi." But, of course, in his infinite hatred for JR, he must come up with all sorts of absurd notions, hate mongering, propaganda, etc.

And, whether anyone likes it or not, Islam is here and there to stay. Let's hope Muslim scholars get rid of the reactionaries by isolating them, just as the Christian, Jewish, Hindo, .... reactionaries must also be isolated.

RateeshSukumaran9

Rateesh Sukumaran

I have several Persian friends in Australia. I have never seen one female muslim-Iranian wearing a hijab. This goes to show how the Iranians hate hijab which is forced upon them by the mullahs !

SoosanKhanoom

akaDarya With life as short as a half-taken breath, don't plant anything but love. - Rumi

Ahhhhhh …. a country where no one covers her hair. Even, the French Nuns from the school that I used to attend in Tehran should be uncovered ….. oh yes … I like that !

How can we enforce this law? …. Lashes , traffic citation, starvation, kick in the butt, jail ….. hmmm ?

Oh ….. Iranian women can not wait for men like you to set them free … to dress them up or undress them ?

But , Is that all that you want to be uncovered ?

How about destroying the laws that force women to cover their breasts? Who comes up with these stupid laws anyway? Women in africa are topless.

Please, on your next blog come up with some solution for that too ?

Thanks a bunch !

Persa

Persa http://iranian.com/main/member/jeesh-daram.html

Dear Darya:
Upon your revelation, I completely changed all my prior vacation plans and asked my travel agent to book me a package for the parts of Africa that you brought up, and yes, I think a 5th choice is a must :)

I think at least 90% of Muslim men and possibly the majority of Mormons are fully in support of all the 5 choices that have been offered here so far, they would love to have at least four wives with diverse tastes -behind closed doors, certainly a feasible approach for a global solution.

SoosanKhanoom

akaDarya With life as short as a half-taken breath, don't plant anything but love. - Rumi

lol …

here some info …...

"Women in the ancient Minoan civilization of Crete (Greece) and ancient Egypt are depicted bare-chested in paintings and sculptures from those civilizations.

Before modern times, women across much of pre-colonial Sub-Saharan Africa, the pre-Columbian Americas, the South Pacific, and parts of South and Southeast Asia used to go topless. But as outside influence increased, these women began to adopt clothing that covered their breasts.

Today the practice of going bare-breasted only persists in more isolated areas and among more isolated groups, such as those in the Amazon rainforest, the Andaman Islands, southern Ethiopia (i.e. the Mursi and Dassanach), and parts of Southeast Asia (i.e. the Mentawai). "

Persa

Persa http://iranian.com/main/member/jeesh-daram.html

Darya :) Those were the highlights of age of civilization and no wonder they called it Chalcolithic period also known as the Bronze Age and Copper Age; long before any tanning lotion was invented.

SoosanKhanoom

akaDarya With life as short as a half-taken breath, don't plant anything but love. - Rumi

indeed ! : )

HoshangTarehgol5

Hoshang Tarehgol An injury to one is an injury to all.

There's also a tradition of going bare chested amongst women in parts of Kenya to show their indignation & discontent, also probably as a graphic reminder to men about women's maternal position in society. African culture in its vast complexities is too varied to be reduced to some orientalist "Women in Africa are topless!"

JahanshahRashidian3

Jahanshah Rashidian

Under Islamic norms in Iran, Afghanistan, Iraq, Sudan, Saudi Arabia … woman is not supposed to have the same rights as men because Islam predominates all judicial aspects. The full freedom of women, as for all society, passes off once Islam is removed.

Dakho

Dakho Satirist, humorist, Ph.D. in Laughter Therapy

This goes all the way back to Muhammad himself and his insecurities in dealing with strong women of Arabia. It's so hilarious how Quran at some parts turns into a manual on Muhammad’s marriage and sex life, with "God" telling him how many wives he could have and how to treat them,...
You optimism regarding women's liberation in Iran in a post IR regime is heartwarming, although I don't share it.
Even in many developed Western and Eastern societies women are still struggling to achieve parity with men; not only in economic fields regarding wages and management positions, but also in the social scene and health care regarding reproductive rights,...
Patriarchy is an incredibly deep rooted evil institution in our human "civilization" and is not going anywhere anytime soon; let's not underestimate its strength.

JahanshahRashidian3

Jahanshah Rashidian

Disparity between man and woman has always existed since the patriarchal Age. It is reflected even in the then highest ancient culture as we know Plato’s statement as he thanks God that he was born a man, and not a weak sex (woman).
Bible and Old Testament followed the idea of disparity and canonised it by describing man / woman as two planets with different nature as if they always fly in two orbits. In Muhammad’s paradise, women are not present unless as Huris or paradise’s prostitutes. The paradise is apparently built merely for masculine Muslims.
All these cultural elements make collective prejudices over women and have been also held by lucrative mode of capitalist production. However the disparity in all fields existed under communist regimes as it is also tied to any ideological dictatorship. The worst disparity exists in the Islamic world and especially under Islamic regimes.

madala

madala

In my view, we had the perfect mix during the 70s where women wore what they liked to wear without anything being imposed or restricted..
However, once the oppressive Islamic regime is removed, there could be a backlash of extremes in both directions..

HoshangTarehgol5

Hoshang Tarehgol An injury to one is an injury to all.

Jahanshah jan thanks for a reflective, thought provoking article.
Hopefully in a post IR Iran we shall be able to institutionalize laws & social norms guaranteeing UNCONDITIONAL POLITICAL & SOCIAL FREEDOMS FOR ALL. That way each individual is free to decide & do as they please & our collective intellect & collective energies could be directed towards more pressing tasks at hand, like saving the destroyed environment of Iran, or rebuilding our economy,...

P.S. When you have a big family like ours, you'll end up with all four categories. That's why our family events are always very alive!

JahanshahRashidian3

Jahanshah Rashidian

Dear Hoshang, hopefully in a free Iran, through both democratic laws and education, women will not wear Islamic hijab -- from buraq to scarf. I wish Men / women do not to follow some patriarchal cult's traditional dress as a political or misogynistic legacy of that cult. As you mentioned, free choice is the best choice, but independent from that some norms get societal dimensions and impose themselves as laws. Certain social graces, customs and behaviour which, when understood, can cause unnecessary complications or hurts. This one reason, the ban of Islamic hijab in some societies fit these societal norms, government decisions to ban only follow these.

farhangpooya

farhangpooya In all situations, in or outside power, social problems require social solutions (در همه شرايط، در حاكميت و يا خارج از حاكميت، مشكلات اجتماعى راه حل هاى اجتماعى طلب مى كنند)

What will happen with controversy Islamic hijab in Iran once the people of Iran get rid of the Islamic regime?.
Therefore it will all depends on which political force will get rid of current Islamic regime.
However, in all forms of non-democratic society, religion continues to be a tool in the hands of the state. In such a society society, hijab continues to an integral part of the religion. We have seen the outcome of changes made to countries like Afghanistan, Iraq, Lybia, ....
However, in a democratic society, any individual like Mr Rashidian or Farhang Pootya will have the right to propose motions or amend motions and people people will have the right to vote for or against the proposed motion or amendment.
If I assume we had a good system like our brilliant Iranian.com, and we could add a few functions to allow members voting for proposed motions or amendments, then I would certainly propose my motion. But we must first work in the direction of forming such a society. In such circumstances we can be the powerful voice of the community and have our voice herd in the US, European Union and big challenge to the Islamic regime. If we have a credible democratic society, we will be able to expand our society to include our country mates in Iran too and manage to make big changes collectively.
Until such a time, your ideas are good for yourself and perhaps a bit of waste of time expressing or writing your thoughts.
What do you think?

JahanshahRashidian3

Jahanshah Rashidian

Dear frahangpooya, whatever the nature of the next regime after the Islamic one, say, communist, nationalist,... even MKE hijab will be regarded as a manifestation of the by then toppled Islamic regime and thus will be treated accordingly.

ArvandRud

Arvand Rud Arvand Rud is the proper name of the "Shatt al Arab". Let's just say I would never sell out Iran to the mullahs or the communists.

There will certainly be strong opposition on both sides of the argument. khoda biyamorz Shahpur Bakhtiar.

farhangpooya

farhangpooya In all situations, in or outside power, social problems require social solutions (در همه شرايط، در حاكميت و يا خارج از حاكميت، مشكلات اجتماعى راه حل هاى اجتماعى طلب مى كنند)

What really concerns me is that we all talk and do nothing.
Does it really make any difference what Jahansha, Farhang, .... think?
What will future government do?
Who knows what future holds?
Our action or inaction will determine what future holds for our women.
We need to have a strong democratic society which can speak with one strong voice.
We may not be able to agree on every single issue but we all seem to be strongly against the way our women are treated and the way political prisoners are subjected to horrendous daily torture and execution.
Why don't we agree to form an Iranian society in here and pass a resolution to strongly oppose these basic violation of human rights.
You all seem to be all in favour of condemning the violation of these two basic human rights. If that is the case then let's take some action right now.
Why don't we do it with one strong union voice?
Come on then Mr and Mrs right.
Take some actions, we must fight

JahanshahRashidian3

Jahanshah Rashidian

Since the inception the Islamic regime, unity has been the watchword. The word looks to compensate the lack of any harmony. One main reason that concerns the opposition is a narcissistic trend of the Eslahtlaban, MKE and Monarchists who feel compelled to keep or restore the same form of state which cannot be in essence much different from the one presently in power. The urgency of success for such an apposition does not sufficiently matter our people because they are already victim of such a narcissistic regime.

amirparvizforsecularmonarchy

amirparvizforsecularmonarchy I Love Waterfalls and Find One of the most humorous things in the world; is the notion that Americans are a greater force for good & more civilized than Nazi's, Mullahs and Communists.

How predictably self serving of you JR, to define opponents as narcissistic or "megalomaniac as used by the media" and then in the same breath to define your own views as the only just ones. Unimaginatively disingenuous at best, comparing the Mullahs/MeK with those who put Irans Pre-Islamic Culture and her people first. Meanwhile mullahs are not at all sensitive to criticism like narcissists, its not that they don't feel empathy like narcissists, they just have zero standards and care about all the wrong things.

HoshangTarehgol5

Hoshang Tarehgol An injury to one is an injury to all.

Farhang Jan I nominate you as the president & commander in chief of this new Iranian society you propose to create. Hoping this new Iranian society unlike tens & hundreds of Iranian societies before it will solve all our problems once and for all. Also have a feeling with you at helms mullahs will take notice & abdicate once & for all.