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Iran’s protest against the Hijab law: All you need to know

Death of Mahsa Amini Sparked a series of protest in iran 2022

A young girl, aged 22, died mysteriously in police custody. Police claim that she died due to a heart attack, but some eyewitnesses alleged that she was beaten up by police authorities, following which she slipped into a coma and subsequently died after three days. The police or the state has its version of the story, while the public has its own. The name of the girl, who died in police custody, was Mahsa Amini a resident of Kurdistan province of the Islamic Republic of Iran. She was visiting the capital Tehran with her family when she was arrested by the “Morality Police”. Iran’s Morality Police arrested her on the pretext that she had violated the dress code prescribed for women based on the sharia law. In Iran, every person whether citizens or foreigners are required to follow the prescribed dress code. The law requires women to cover their hair with a hijab and their arms and legs with loose clothing. No woman can wear a tight dress.

How Mahsa Amini died?

Iran’s morality police accused and arrested her for violating the law requiring women to cover their hair with a hijab and their arms and legs with loose clothing. She collapsed after being taken to a detention centre to be “educated”. There are reports that officers beat Ms. Amini’s head with a baton and banged her head against one of their vehicles.

Mahsa Amini

What is Iran’s morality police?

The Gasht-e Ershad (Guidance Patrols) are special police units tasked with ensuring the respect of Islamic morals and detaining people who are perceived to be “improperly” dressed. Under Iranian law, which is based on the country’s interpretation of Sharia, women are obliged to cover their hair with a hijab (headscarf) and wear long, loose-fitting clothing to disguise their figures. The dress code is prescribed for both men and women, however, the “morality police” primarily target women. There are no clear guidelines or details on what types of clothing qualify as inappropriate, leaving a lot of room for discretion and sparking accusations that the “morality” enforcers arbitrarily detain women.

What’s happening now in Iran protest?

Following the death of Mahsa Amini, thousands of people start protesting against the strict dress code. More than 40 people are said to have lost their lives, including members of the security forces. The violent demonstrations have captured moments of intense anger, defiance, and fury among women for their rights. Many women are chopping their hair and burning hijab publicly.

The government was forced to enforce an Internet shutdown to control the anger that was spreading across the country. At least 1,200 have been arrested in connection to the protests, Iranian state-backed news agency Tasmin reported Saturday, citing a security official. Iranian ultra-conservative president Ebrahim Raisi has already threatened protesters many a time for the decisive crackdown. It is not clear what will happen next.

What role as a human & students do we have in Iran protest?

We belong to a nation that believes in the principle of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam i.e. the World Is One Family. If we analyse the Iran protest from a larger perspective, what we find is that protest is not against the hijab only. It is a protest to achieve basic human rights, such as the right to express oneself publicly, the right to wear what suits someone’s personality, the right to have own moral values, and the right to regulate one’s secular aspect of life. Many countries are still living under the shadow of age-old religious laws that are completely against basic human rights. Such laws also do not have uniform meaning. It’s time to throw such laws into the garbage.

It is time to show our solidarity with the brave Iranian people as fellow human beings who are struggling against the oppressive regime. What is your opinion on this issue? Comment below.

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