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Saturday, May 17, 2014 

Women in Iran need freedom from the hijab

An Iranian woman wrote for Front Page Magazine about her experiences in the country that for 35 years has forced women to wear oppressive garments that deny them vitamin D from the sun:
For 35 years, the Islamic Republic of Iran has forced millions of Iranian women and young girls to wear a chador, hijab, or other form covering to hide their bodies and hair. Girls are ordered to wear a hijab at the age of eight or nine.

The moral police have been deployed to crack down on those women who do not fully comply with this Islamic rule.

Growing up in the Islamic Republic, I saw how many women and girls felt it intolerable to wear a hijab, not only because it breached the personal freedoms of each citizen, but also because they found it difficult to wear a hijab on hot desert days throughout the year. One of my university friends, Sahar, dreamt to one day be able to walk freely down the street, wearing whatever she liked, feeling the breeze, the wind blowing through her hair, and not having to wear this mandatory covering that had been part of her public life since she was eight years old.

One day, I attempted to help Sahar fulfill her dream and I took her to a field far from the eyes of the Islamic moral police, and she walked, ran, and jumped around without a scarf like a child. It felt as if she had been released from prison, like she was capable of feeling this simple pleasure of freedom for the first time. Nevertheless, we were still afraid that there might be a governmental observer or a spy hiding somewhere. It was not a totally liberating experience.

This simple individual freedom might be taken for granted by women in the Western democratic world. And some might find it comical, ridiculous, or bizarre to have such a simple dream. But this is truly a dream for millions of Iranian women.

The summer is coming and the heat reaches over 40 Celsius (104 Fahrenheit) in Iran. Working a full day with a thick hijab around your head and body can also cause serious health problems.
Of course. One of those illnesses is called osteoporosis, and to see cults like Lev Tahor embracing that kind of vulgar idea - even trying to ape it - is offensive. Besides fighting against Iran's nuclear programs, the west also has to condemn Iran's own oppression of women in their society.

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