News & Politics

Anti-Hijab Protest in Iran Picking Up Steam Despite Arrests

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader via AP)

There is a growing movement among the women of Iran to defy authorities and remove their headscarves, or hijabs.

Women remove their hijabs in the street and attach them to poles, waving them like flags. Some post their defiant acts on social media.

How nutty is Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei? This is an actual tweet where he says, “Hijab is a means of immunity not restriction.”

Women who protest are in danger of being beaten and jailed.


In an interview with CBN News, Taleblu, explained what’s fueling the actions of these women.

“Young Iranian women are casting off their veils as a show of defiance against both the corrupt and discriminatory political and religious system in Iran,” he said.

He added, “This anti-Hijab movement is actually not new. It began in 1979, mere months after Khomeini returned to Iran and began Islamizing the country. Since 1979, Iranian women have found creative and brave ways to contest this policy of mandatory veiling. This is only the latest iteration of that push back.”

The ayatollahs are trying hard to control the Internet and access to outside news sources. But it appears they are fighting a losing battle:

Since December, more than 30 Iranian women have been arrested for publicly removing their scarves in defiance of the Islamic regime’s strict law.

One woman has reportedly received a two year jail sentence after removing her scarf in public.

Demonstrations planned to take place on International Women’s Day on Thursday were pre-empted by police.

Taleblu highlighted the significant risks women take by defying the strict law.

“They range from fines to jailing to increased harassment and abuse,” he said. “The regime harshly treats anti-Hijab protesters because they see it as a rebuke of their political and religious rule in Iran.”

In February, police detained 29 women who removed their headscarves as part of an anti-hijab campaign known as “White Wednesdays.” These women risk being beaten by religious police while in custody. Sometimes, the police don’t wait and just beat them on the streets.

This sounds eerily similar to what was happening behind the Iron Curtain in the late 1980s. Small groups of defiant protesters risked being beaten and jailed for wanting simple things like more consumer goods and freedom of speech. Authorities tried to tamp down the protests, but it was too late. The world had overtaken the tyrants and information and images of life in the West fueled what became the revolution against communist regimes.

Each protest posted on social media is seen by hundreds, perhaps thousands of women. Because there is no hierarchy for authorities to arrest and oppress, the demonstrations for freedom by these women are impossible to stop.

Iran is a time bomb waiting to explode and the mullahs may be powerless to stop it.