The Hijab Protest in Iran

The Hijab Protest in Iran

Madiha Haideri (10th), Editor-in-Chief

Mahsa Amini was a Muslim girl that resided in Iran. Her story has recently been trending on the internet, causing many controversial ideas to also surface alongside it. For those that are not familiar with her story, it is said that she was arrested for not wearing proper “hijab” and was taken into custody. She then passed away while in the officials’ custody. However, it is also said in the announcement made by Iranian officials that Amini had suffered a heart attack which was the reason for her death. 

Many people are raising awareness to this matter by posting about it online and speaking up on platforms like Twitter, Tiktok, Instagram, Facebook etc. Terms like “Hijab Police” are negatively associated with Amini’s story and her experiences. In simple words, “Hijab Police” are officials, and sometimes even people, who comment on who should wear what kind of hijabs. Even more problematic: what kinds of hijabs are considered “proper.”

Because of what happened with Amini, the Iranian government is now facing protests; both violent and peaceful. Some women are burning their hijabs as a form of protest, while some are cutting their hair. Both, to showcase their hatred for the Iranian government and the “Hijab/morality Police.” 

While it is a tremendous thing that women in Iran are standing up for themselves, it is also important to note that their protest is in no way, shape or form, trying to abolish the hijab. Their protest does not condone the idea that the hijab is oppressive; instead, their protest stands for a simple notion: Women should have the right to choose. The same way some women in the U.S are protesting against the new abortion laws. Both protests have the same view: Let women have the right to choose. 

The emphasis on what the protest stands for is due to the fact that some people are misunderstanding it altogether. Instances of this can be seen on Tiktok, where hijabi women are told to take their hijabs off, not make excuses, and to join the protest. Those kinds of people are missing the whole point, which is to let the women choose. 

A Pitman sophomore, Julia DeBoard, was asked about her opinion on the hijab protest in Iran and this is what she said: “Women should have the right to choose. They should not be forced to keep it on or off, it is messed up to force them either way.” DeBoard was also asked, “How would you compare the abortion situation in the U.S to the hijab situation in Iran?” She responded with, “It’s all about taking away a woman’s right to choose. It’s always the men in the government taking away female rights.”

At the end of the day, the hijab is a symbol of freedom, not oppressiveness. And some people, in the religion of Islam and outside of it, sometimes don’t realize that. And because of those misunderstandings, things like death, violence, and hatred arise.