A group of Iranian women unveiling in public in defiance of mandatory hijab

Iran's President: Hijab Removal Protests Will Come To End

Wednesday, 08/09/2023

The president of Iran has issued a statement threatening that protests against hijab will soon come to an end.

On Wednesday, Ebrahim Raisi said that protests against the hijab were driven by foreign influence and threatened that the regime would stem the protests by raising awareness and elevating a strategic response, which in reality means that they will crush resistance to the hijab.

"Certain individuals, not adhering to hijab, may lack awareness. Our duty is to raise their awareness,” he said, also citing that “foreign influences are orchestrating an organized campaign to abolish the hijab."

He also referenced Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei's perspective, "As per the leader, enemies have strategized in this domain, necessitating our strategic response in kind". The term "enemies" has been consistently employed by Khamenei to refer to entities such as the United States, Israel, and US allies in the region and in Europe.

Raisi's assertion on the hijab policy is significant given the persistence of Iranian women and girls to challenge the compulsory headscarf. The authorities of the Islamic Republic refer to this defiance as "the removal of the hijab." Furthermore, his remarks come less than two months before the anniversary of Mahsa Amini's tragic death while in custody of the morality patrol.

In July 2022, Raisi took action by instructing all government entities to strictly enforce a "chastity and hijab" law, initially approved by the administration of hardliner Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in 2005. The subsequent weeks saw stringent measures taken on the streets, prompting nationwide demonstrations fueled by the death of 22-year-old Amini.

Nevertheless, in the face of these measures, Iranian women have maintained their increasing resistance against the compulsory hijab enforcement.

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