Iranian Women Shed Veil 06

The Great Unveiling: Iranian Women Are Ditching Their Head Scarves on Facebook

Going out in public without a hijab can get you 70 lashes and 60 days in prison, but these women are taking the risk

In some ways, the social police in Iran have become less suffocating in recent decades. Unmarried men and women now date, and sometimes even live together. Meanwhile, Facebook may be illegal, but the government generally ignores the 4 million Iranians who use it regularly.

But one area where the government has been unyielding is with the dress code for women. They are required to dress “modestly,” which includes always wearing a veil. If they remove their veils in public, they can receive 70 lashes or 60 days in prison.

Now some Iranian women are challenging that rule in a particularly in-your-face way. They have taken to Facebook to post photos of themselves veil-less. Instead of wearing the veils, they’re wrapping them around their necks, holding them up or flying them like ceremonial flags. The veils are everywhere except where the government says they’re supposed to be—on women’s heads, covering their hair.

This is the photo which started it all, one woman who threw off her headdress and invited others to join her.

Facebook/ Masih Alinejad

A Facebook post earlier this month from liberal Iranian journalist Masih Alinejad sparked the movement, which has grown under the hashtag #آزادی‌یواشکی (translation: #stealthfreedom). It has spawned a Facebook page of its own, which gathered over 30,000 likes in its first five days.

Facebook/آزادی های یواشکی زنان در

The movement’s creator, Alinejad, lives in exile in the United Kingdom, where she works for OnTen, a satirical news show that’s broadcast into Iran by Voice of America’s Persian Service. “I just asked women to send selfies of their private moments of freedom,” she says. “When I was in Iran, I would take my head scarf off when I was out in a field or some place private, and I wondered how many Iranian women [did the same]. Apparently a lot.”

Facebook/آزادی های یواشکی زنان در

Many of these women have added poignant commentary. ”I always take off the hijab whenever I can because it was never my choice to put it on,” says one Facebook user who also posted a photo.

Facebook/آزادی های یواشکی زنان در

Another recounts a run-in with the moral police, the Basij: “My mother hadn’t worn the veil until the early 1980s when she was threatened by a member of Basij. He aimed a rifle at her. …My grandfather suggests that we shouldn’t sit in front of him with veil on. It depresses him. …My generation has not been able to enjoy life, and I’ve been asked, ‘Aren’t you bored?’”

Facebook/آزادی های یواشکی زنان در

This isn’t the first time Iranian women have protested the veil in public or on social media, but it’s the most direct challenge yet. Women have been subtly defying the veil mandate since former Iranian President Mohammad Khatami came to power 1997 by draping the veil loosely over their buns and exposing the hair near their faces.

Since then, the loose veil has become the standard among young, liberal Iranian women. Even Iranian designers dress their models in this fashion, like in this photo:

Facebook/Anargol

Since sparking the movement, Alinejad has faced criticism and pressure from the Iranian right. Conservatives even launched a pro-veil protest on Wednesday. She says she has been “attacked by hardline conservative news agencies inside Iran” and that government-affiliated Fars News has called her “anti-revolutionary.”

She also says she hasn’t received any political backing from the left: “No political figure inside Iran has called for any reform of the hijab laws. Ironically, Iranian women have overwhelmingly voted for the most liberal candidates who promise less restrictions, but in reality the restrictions are rarely eased.”

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  • Although only in danger of ostracisation, I used to wear a sarong sometimes while teaching in England. My wife came from a country where this is normal male attire but I was trying to teach the children that clothes were not the important criteria on which to judge a person but what was inside the clothes.

  • Although only in danger of ostracisation, I used to wear a sarong sometimes while teaching in England. My wife came from a country where this is normal male attire but I was trying to teach the children that clothes were not the important criteria on which to judge a person but what was inside the clothes.

  • it should be forbidden to wear the burka, anywhere. France did the first step and the rest of the world should follow their way. It is not natural and to be forced to cover your hair or skin is unexceptable!!! specially because in most of the cases it is not women’s decision. The worst thing is when you travel to Arab countires and u go to the beach and then u see those women soaking themselves in that heavy clothes and at the same time their husbands are playing volleyball in speedos. Sad and depressing. And I have saome friends from Iran and they do not support those rules! C’mon 21st century!!!

  • i am an iranian girl and i must say you think true that is political .
    but most of iranian girls think freedom is not do any thing you want…that is do any thing it is right…
    you know world without laws is like a doom any body can hurt to other…

  • It is not a hypobole to say that Persian women are the most beautiful in the world.  Please doff your scarves and veils and allow us the joy and pleasure to revere and exalt in your wonderful attribute. Like Keats said: A thing of beauty is a joy forever!

  • it should be a choice what to wear

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  • Good.Persians should create make their own destiny instead of blindly following the rules laid out by Bedouin tribals

  • I think she should  unveil  ALL the Iranian women living in UK first. (There are many many Iranians and OTHER muslim women who live in the WEST,who ,dspite the fact that there is no compulsion to weat the head covering, continue to wear  the BuRKAH-covering the entire body!). Why not enlighten them first? Why ONLY Iran? Smells political to me.

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    • I think the point is it should be the woman’s choice. In western countries, women who cover up are doing it because it is their choice.  You want to start with taking their choice away because it makes you and other racists uncomfortable??  You missed the whole point and would be part of the problem in Iran.

  • Also this woman in NOT living in Iran.She lives in UK!.Like the Cubans living in the USA,who are taunting Castro, would she have done this if she was living in Iran? What emerges is a picture of a pseudo-hero.

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    • There was mention of exile?

  • Questionable.Eventhough this womans’ face could be the face of the movement, there could  also,potentially  be a ghost hidding behind it. (CIA-AN Iranian Spring in the making).From little acorns big oaks grow.

  • Iran’s culture is too deep and rich to be subjugated to Arabic/Muslim traditions. I salute the Iranian women shedding their veils. 

  • I hope this helps our Iranian Sisters…every person has the right to feel the sun on their face and the wind on their skin…..after all..more strength in numbers. 

  • CarmenAmoros May 13, 2014 14:12 EDT The Great Unveiling: Iranian Women Are Ditching Their Head Scarves on Facebook The ten commandments were intended to establish order on earth, not spark religious fury against women and others. Women, are the true peacemakers, not the warmongers. All women deserve to live in peace without unnecessary pressures exerted to subjugate and oppress them. Modesty exudes from a woman’s soul and spirit and not from a demonstration through the covering of her head.  Women across the world, bear the responsibility of being advocates for opressed women.  We need to reach our hands across the continents and across the seas, hold the hands of our oppressed sisters and stand as one against all oppression against women.  ~Carmen Amoros, Host of the New York Podcasting Cafe.

  • The Great Unveiling: Iranian Women Are Ditching Their Head Scarves on Facebook The ten commandments were intended to establish order on earth, not spark religious fury against women and others. Women, are the true peacemakers, not the warmongers. All women deserve to live in peace without unnecessary pressures exerted to subjugate and oppress them. Modesty exudes from a woman’s soul and spirit and not from a demonstration through the covering of her head.  Women across the world, bear the responsibility of being advocates for opressed women.  We need to reach our hands across the continents and across the seas, hold the hands of our oppressed sisters and stand as one against all oppression against women.  ~Carmen Amoros, Host of the New York Podcasting Cafe.

  • Having lived in Dubai and London, I have met many Iranians, many of them women who wear the hijab inspite of the fact that there is no compulsions in these societies. So to assume all Iranian women are against the Hijab wont be right. We may not know the percentage of women who support and are against the hijab. But I have seen many of my old collegemates who were very non religious become very religious over the years.They now wear the hijab at all times and some even take to preaching. People keep changing. 

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    • The point is: they should have a choice to either wear or not wear Hijab. This choice is not granted them in Iran.

  • If you read your history, Islam was imposed upon the Persians. They’ve never forgotten that. I wonder if that is what’s really behind this and why there are so many closet Christians there.

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    • Iran always had a christian minority. After the revolution they went into a shell. Even though the Iran govt guarantees few rights for them, most of them practise their faith in private so as not to meet antagonise the govt. That explains the closet christains.

  • The Qur’an is clear that it is something for believing women. A Muslim women (per the Qur’an) is only allowed to show her face and hands. Forcing non-Muslims to wear it is wrong. If they CLAIM to be Muslim and do not wear it then they are in violation of what their prophet has said (and by extension, what Allah has said). That shouldn’t be illegal, but they need to take it up with their God.

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    • Qur’an was written by Mohammad and Salman. Don’t reffer those kid’s words to the God.

    • And where is that verse?

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      • Moha..who? Does it matter what a popular religious human said a bunch of years ago as to the point of oppresing other humans now?To have a dilema of whether women having the freedom of showing their faces being illegal or not, makes me want to question that authority figure of yours.

  • Ofcourse, women should have a choice on whether or not to cover up.My heart and me with my Iranian sisters.Zehra Kahraman 

  • Iranian women should get together at Azadi Square and remove their hijabs and burn them. And if the men complained then they should go on a nationwide strike. If women would stop working inside and outside of their homes in no time they will get their rights back. Just do it. Of course there are some pro hijab women and that is OK they can keep their hijab on. Iranian women rise up and demand your rights we are all behind you. As it said for other groups, Iranian women unite you have nothing to loose but the chains that keeps you behind.

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    • If you dare to join them, sure. 

  • An interesting article. I think this is just the beginning for a true revolution in Iran. :)

  • Death To the mandatory HijabAnd men who Think Can Force women of my country bcz Of their Bullshit ThoughtsHope to freedom for all Women

  • Iranian women aren’t required to wear a viel- just a headscarf.  Since you lied about that, I will assume everything you wrote is a lie

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    • Seems like the mature course of action to take…

  • if women’s beauty is a distraction.. have Iranian men tried keeping their eyes closed… trust me that would do lot more good to the society… considering they are always blind to soical commitments

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    • and that coming from Indian men. in India in the rural villages, women are prohibited from going out of their houses. Many Indian women even in cities are not allowed to travel to areas far from their houses. While in Bombay, I had a Marwari girl in my college. She could never even go for a movie after college as her grandfather would send her cousins looking for her.Life revolved around going to college and back home for her. In some communities if the girl marries someone of her choice, she is killed.And all this if the female foetus is not killed in the womb. India has the worst sex ration in the world.Not to mention the million female foetuses that are killed every year.

  • This article left me feeling very inspired. I agree women should have a choice on whether or not to cover up. In America we have a similar debate going on right now about the difference between men and women going topless. Men are allowed legally while a woman can go to jail for exposing her top. A big part of this debate is what a culture’s beliefs are of what is arousing. In some it’s breasts in other apparently hair. Ultimately a human being should be in control of themselves and their sexual desires. None of these women should be punished like this for having a natural human body and not wanting to hide it.I myself really like to look at people faces and into their eyes when I communicate with them. I would really miss those visual cues and responses. I guess a face can be arousing but if it is it would be my responsibility to handle that with maturity, not that person’s responsibility to hide it from me.Im very proud of these ladies for what they are doing. It must be scary knowing what can happen to them. Kudos to all of them and the best of luck. Don’t give up!

  • I am with you in spirit my sisters.  All the women should get together and take them off in public.  The first man to touch a woman gets beaten to death.  I pray for all of the women and girls of your country.  Let your hair blow in the wind.  It is what God wants, not the men or laws of your country.  YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL.

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    • Annette. You made me laugh! I love the direction you go,but of course when you make a sudden and huge change in action expecting others NOT react to the bold action is unrealistic.

    • It is the weakness of men and their failure to resist their desires! Covering faces is a testament to their weakness protrayed as a strength and lasting power over women, their chatles! In the face of such weakness should God not have demanded that all men wear chstity belts to save themselves from their weak and immoral minds! Brian

  • Il ne s’agit pas d’un lien fragile, ni d’une simple étreinte entre les pages froissées d’un cahier. Il s’agit du bonheur de mes cheveux brûlés sous les coquelicots de tes baisers… Poésie par ”Forough Farokhzad”

  • Well done and have strength in your conviction!

  • It saddens me that in the age of science and technology, humans are still encumbered by archaic man-made laws that continuous causes conflicts among themselves. It is their head, hair and body. Not yours. Not the government’s. Not even their parents’. 

  • We are with you girls..be fearless all the time..only you can change the rules imposed on you..rock

  • I think it’s beautiful what they’re doing for themselves. They have been repressed for so long in fear of the power that men hold, it’s high time they stand up for themselves. Even the simple act of letting your hair blow freely in the wind means so much, if all your life and all the women before you have been ordered not to do so.

  • Freedom will pre-veil, eventually.

  • I think it’s insulting on men, as saying they’re such animals as will go on a raping  frenzy if they see a woman’s hair.

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    • But that is what usually happens. In their culture, as well as other countries like saudi arabia, women’s hair is considered the most seductive part of the female body.

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      • <p>No its not true ,, there is no such a thing in our Culture. .we are not arab, we are persion.i suggest you all go watch the movie perserpolise</p>

      • It is not our culture It’s ayatollahs culture We are far different from goverment

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      • men rape women all over the world. It is not about hair it is about dysfunctional thinking and desire to overpower.

  • yay for women’s rights!!!!!

  • Aboofazel I am sorry you feel that way. Women’s right will prevail and maybe your wife will leave you if you treat her like garbage. Or no one will ever marry a chauvinist like you. 

  • the most stupid girls that i have ever seen shame on u stupids is that what u want from your life , being naked , the third girl is like a cow drinking pepsi where is her pepsi?

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    • How would you feel being forced to wear a particular article of clothing on a daily basis, If you think they should have to then you should aswell.

    • aboofazel, keyboard warrior, take your outdated views and stick them up your backside

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    • you ignorant ssshole, how does not wearing a bloody veil make them naked!? Get an education!!! 

    • Someone should knock some sense into you, mate..

  • VERY BEAUTIFUL WOMAN!! DO WHAT EMPOWERS YOU!!

  • Every last one of these women is beautiful. What they’re doing is beautiful and brave. “Lust of men?” Sounds like more propaganda garbage. I believe in God but as far as religion is concerned, man has warped and twisted His image and teachings to their own selfish views. Women should never have to fear for their life for wanting to be free. Beautiful story. I’m glad I saw this and I’m glad it’s happening.

  • This comment system removed my paragraphs. That is highly distressing.

  • Perhaps those of you with an open mind should check out http://WWW.worldhijabday.comIt‘s a movement created where women wear the hijab to get a better understanding of the experience and post stories of their experience.The problem is not with the hijab itself, but with the people and governments that enforce it in such extreme ways. Maybe an easier way to understand the modesty point of covering up is to think of Christianity. Women used to wear veils to Church and nuns still cover themselves out of respect to the places of God and modesty. Covering up is not an oppressive choice. It is a strong stand against indecency and the expectations of men in general.If you think it’s oppressive and degrading to cover yourself and wear hijab, think how much more so it is and how difficult it is when women who choose to are ridiculed and told they are only beautiful without their veil.

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      • You’re right, I agree that the hijab itself is not the problem. If a woman chooses it, its her choice and its respectable. But no one should be forced to wear one. 

    • You said it right. Problem is not with the Hijab. The decision should lie with the woman whether she wants to wear a hijab. Governments should not exert a homogenous system, devoiding women of their personal choices and liberty.

  • The lot of you aren’t very well researched and seem to have bought into the brainwashings of the Western men. Hijab is not about man or oppression, it is about modesty and faith in Allah. To call the hijab oppressive is to disrespect the women who CHOOSE to wear it out of love for their religion and themselves. Hijab is NOT a choice. It IS a requirement in the Qur’an, not just Iran. That is why women in America and the world over wear hijab. Westerners won’t be able to comprehend modesty because it ‘isn’t cool’ and we would rather push our daughters and girls to wear less and be ‘sexy’. What is so hard to understand about covering yourself to protect against the lust of men? See, here in America we promote ‘freedom of choice’, and yet women still get ostracized for abortions and our youth is too busy doing drugs and trying to get laid to worry about whether or not they can support a child at sometimes as young as nine. Do I agree with beating the women? No. Do I agree with forcing them? No. But I don’t think the Western world has their ducks in a row either.

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    • “lust of men.” that is the issue here. a woman should not have to wear a head scarf to protect agains the lust of men. that’s all.

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      • Exactly, very well said!

    • I feel as if they are saying women should have a choice, in Iran they do not always. Receiving ‘lashes’ and jail time for not wearing one is the wrong part. Women who don’t want to wear one, what ever their reason may be, live in fear because of the consequences. Being forced to do something out of fear should be  considered wrong no matter where the persons fromor their religio.

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    • You control YOUR lust instead of expecting women to accomodote you. It’s pretty simple. You control your religious teachings and place them on yourself only instead of expecting anyone else to accomodotae you. I grew up in Iran, don’t tell me I’ve been brainwashed, don’t tell me how I feel, you have no authority over me or any other woman. You know you sound exactly like Sarah Palin. You don’t even know what you don’t know but you talk with authority about it. You don’t have any. Go live the way you want to live, we’ll live the way we want to live. 

    • If a woman must cover up to “protect against the lust of men”, then the problem is in the self-control of the men.  If you have no self-control in respecting a woman as she decides to present herself, then you are no man.  If your religion dictates that you cover up, then follow your religion, but don’t attempt to force your religious beliefs upon others because you disapprove of how they dress or act.These women are doing a bold and beautiful thing.  There must be equality.

    • So, are men required to wear the hijab’s too? No? Well then that’s sexist, isn’t it? Since your affording one sex with privilege over another?And wait, men are lustful and women should “protect” themselves against them? Hmmm. Sounds like you’re also portraying men as hostile and lascivious, and that women are weak in this accord. The “Western world” may not have its “ducks in a row either”, but criminalising a woman’s choice to wear/not wear something because of some outdated writing’s inherently sexist belief system is on several levels above ducks on discord. No one is forcing the women NOT TO WEAR the hijab, but Iran is forcing the women TO WEAR it. Very different things here.Also, don’t be prejudice against youth. Most of them are not “too busy doing drugs and trying to get laid… at sometimes as young as nine”. Lastly, women are not being ostracised for Abortions by EVERY “Westerner” as I for one have been actively campaigning against such bias. “Westerners” are not homogeneous nor monolithic, as you apparently make us seem.

    • you are misinformed. It is NOT a requirement in the Quran. Modesty is a requirement, NOT the Hijab. 

    • If Muslim women need to be protected against “the lust of men”, then I see it as a problem with men who cannot restrain their lust in accordance with the Will of Allah, as recorded in the Qur’an.  Certainly women can be modest without completely covering themselves from head to toe, but men have a duty to modesty as well, and making women solely responsible for their own protection is not in accordance with any Holy Book that I have ever read, not even the Qur’an.

    • As it is a womans freedom to wear a Hijab or not regardless of religion so is it a freedom of a woman to show her body. Not everyone practices in the Muslim faith. There are many faiths and also lack of here in the world. It does not matter where you are in the world women will always be woman regardless of their age, gender choice, relgion or lack thereof. Women should have the choice to do as they please with their bodies not because religion or law dictates so. Women are beautiful not because men made them so but because they are period. It doesn’t matter what you believe in, every individual has the right to persue whatever they wish in this lifetime. We are always given a choice. Brains! That is what women have in their cranium, brains to decide what is best for them. Respect women after all if it wasn’t for one you wouldn’t be here. 

  • The entire hijab mandate seems to indicate to me that Middle Eastern men derive a great amount of fear from their own boners. I have no idea why you would try to hide the beauty of your country’s women from your own view, threaten them with beatings, imprisonment, and death for sharing their beauty? You want to show respect for God? Appreciate the elegant, awestriking beauty of his creations.

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    • I like this logic a lot, good call.

  • :)

  • our miserable is cuz of our Religion -_-

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    • What confuses me is isn’t hijab supposed to be a choice in islam? Why is it mandatory.. I’m so proud of these women

    • Have you ever studied yhour religion objectively, or are you just swayed by those that interpret it in a certain way?

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      • @Vulcan: All the religions are man-made. That’s why you don’t see one single word higher than the knowledge of those times’ people in them. Do you really take the word’s of the peopl who thought that the Earth is the center of the universe Seriously?!

  • I lived in Iran in 1972 when we used to go to discos with women in mini skirts and drink shams beer. How times haves changed smh

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    • Same with so many muslim countries

  • Yay for you brave women! Your American sisters support you :D

  • It has to be solely the woman’s choice what she wears and whether she wants to wear the head covering.  If the men were forced to wear the clothes the women do in 100 degree weather, that would change.  Some modesty is always preferable for men and women in public in ANY COUNTRY, to a comfortable point though. 

  • Get it! 

  • it’s not a new movement! it’s like this inside the country!

  • I know nothing about Islam. I know barely little more about women. However, These images and the women captured are nothing short of beautiful. 

  • I lived in Iran the first 17 years of my life and I visit there every year. Almost 80% of the women in Iran despise wearing Hijab and the other 20% have been brain-washed all their lives and dont know any better. No rule that was set many centuries ago should stay the same even in the name of religion. 

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    • Hear hear.

    • Yes, and that’s the problem.  About time this was changed. Totally agree.

  • Some of the comments here just go to show how little people know about Iran or the Islamic religion. Do yourselves a favor and educate yourselves; you have a world of knowledge at your fingertips.

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    • what comments?

    • And please elighten us about the meriful ways with which Islam deals with women who violate their silly little book:) 

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      • Islam doesn’t deal with us. Nor does our ‘silly little book’. God deals with us, just like in Christanity, and Judism, and etc. They wanna take their scarfs off, that’s fine. That’s their choice. The Qu’ran doens’t command men (or anyone else) to kill those woman, or lash them, or send them to jail, or force them to wear it. Have you heard what that Christain dad did to his daughter for converting to a different religion? He beat her head with a rock. I guess all Christain men are immoral, horrible people, and the religion is just as bad for not accepting other religions. 

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      • My mom doesn’t wear the scarf, and I couldn’t care less, really. She doesn’t believe in it and doesn’t see the point, whereas I love my hijab and I wouldn’t take it off for the world. However, I don’t go threatening my mom that I’ll kill her, neither does my dad, or anyone else. That’s Islam. Not some ignorant rulers who choose to twist the religion for their benefit.

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      • :-) Thank you for sharing.

      • Thank you Asal for pointing out the every religion has fanatics. It is not a certain country or a certain religion, it is all of them.  More of the problem is that a country would allow the fanatics to get away with such terrible behavior.

      • Well the ignorant one here is you, dear. Seems that you don’t really know ‘shit’ about Islam and your stupid religion!Go read that book quran from a scientific point of view to see how idiotic it is. All the religions are nothing but creations of some mad men! There’s no god behind them.- An ex-muslim

      • Good to hear a woman’s point of view.  As long as the women are happy and it is their choice, then so be it.  The issue is, the women deserve the choice to decide what they want to wear in 100 degree weather.  Men have the choice; why not women.    

      •  ”Have you heard what that Christain dad did to his daughter for converting to a different religion? He beat her head with a rock.” yes. in some parts of the world Christains take lessons from islam. 

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      • Christianity pre-dates Islam…

      • You haven’t even read quran! lol. women are nothing but sex-slaves of men according to Allah and they should stay in the house and prevent men other than their husbands to see them. No wonder religious people are mostly uneducated stupid people; they mostly haven’t even read their ‘holy’ books and don’t know shite about what they’re worshiping! There’s nothing but words of a stupid god that doesn’t even know that the Earth is not the center of the universe, nor does he know shit about evolution and other scientific topics! He just talks about how to kill infidels, how to have sex, and how to enslave women…

      • Nothing in the Qoran mandates that women wear a veil. Veiling is a Persian custom not an Islamic custom.

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    • Why don’t you educate yourself. Ever lived in a country where you are forced to wear veil etc or be whipped?

    • Since you’d like we infidels to be educated, why don’t you throw the first stone? You want the world to learn? Then TEACH!

    • I completely agree. I know little of the religion, but what little I know, many of these are blatently offensive to Islam. However, you must respect, Gloria, that many people do not understand the perspective.

  • I’m guessing it’s the pictures of “veils loosely over their buns” that they’re upset about.  (Wouldn’t mind seeing them myself….)  It would really piss of the men there if the women started shaving their heads in protest.  No hair, no need for the stupid scarf….

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    • You do realize that wearing a hijab has very little to do with the hair on a womens head and more with culturally defined modesty right?

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      • It has very much to do with not showing your hair as that can be seen as sexy. Alluring. They cut the hair off western women not wearing scarves in a muslim country I grew up in.

      • That same cultural modesty requires a 12 yr old girl to don a garment w/sleeves in 100° weather because she’s considered to be a woman. However, no girl’s a full – grown woman at the age of 12 or even 18! Let the girls be children who grow up and make their own conscious decisions. We all know that there are decisions parents must make for their children, but they don’t need to perpetuate the myth that females are helpless and stupid and need men to think for them.

  • These women look so damn happy and actually quite beautiful. With or without politics, look at the smiles on their faces. They look genuinely pretty and wonderful and brave and awesome. I am super super chuffed for them and wish them luck in the future, so that they may wear whatever makes them happy in the future.

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    • Thank u very much for ur nice feelings :)

    • I agree. Gorgeous the lot of them.

  • a veil speaks to the mens immoral tendencies more than any womens. does a woman need to wear a veil to hide her beauty? because if a man sees this beauty he will be tempted into infedility?  its ironic that men of god can’t show self control. that by seeing a womens beauty it may drive them into a lustful rampage. if anything , it shows men of this country are weak in controlling themselves. how is one righteous in the eyes of god if you cannot control yourself?

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    • This is the endless dilemma. Men still don’t have to take full responsibility for their actions in any culture. Women wearing a skirt that is too short etc. Enforcing more islamic cover up certainly doesn’t liberate women.

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      • It’s not intended to. C’mon, it doesn’t come across as macho when Muhammed has to answer to Mommy!

    • Michael,you have the name of an angel and may your words be heard and taken to heart the world over!

    • +
    • Execellent point. But do you feel it is so damaging that it will destroy the all powerful?

  • A woman’s choice, a man’s rule. These women are brave. They have lived under inhuman conditions since the late 80′s. 

  • If a woman wants to wear a veil, that’s awesome– but I don’t think it’s right forcing women to wear them against their will, especially not under the threat of bodily harm and jail time. 

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    • Why would wearing a veil be ‘awesome’? The only reason islam makes them wear a veil is because muslim women are inferior to men and supposedly guilty of tempting men just because they are women. This backward, misogynist thinking is typical of islam. I think you need a reality check.

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      • That is the worst example that I have ever heard!!! Comparing divorce to women in slavery?! Wow… “Logic” 

      • Is it not “awesome” that I choose to wear a modest swimsuit to the pool? I do it because my boyfriend and I believe that we both should save some things to be special between only us. It’s called intimacy. If you choose to cover or hide more, I say go for it. I’m not a memeber of any Abrahamic religion, so I’m giving you an outsider’s point of view: dressing modestly is not misogynistic.

      • +
      • I agree Ross

  • I have all ways wondered why is it the women’s fault because the “men” can not control themselves. That is what this is all about. The men can not control thier own nasty thoughts so they made it part of thier religion for the women to suffer for man’s inadequacies. And I certainly hope the stories I have heard about how the boys become “men” is not true. I say you go girls! Feel the beauty of the wind in your hair. Jesus did.

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    • By that logic men should not be punished in divorce court when a woman can’t control her self and rush into a marriege she didn’t want just because she wanted a wedding and a pretty dress.

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      • That is the worst “logical” comparison that I have ever heard! Comparing divorce to women slavery. Playing the victim of divorce. Did you get whipped and thrown in prison for it? Are you told what to wear, who to talk to, where you’re allowed to go and when? Do you swim in a veil? Have you been raped and blamed for it? No! You cannot compare your life to theirs. You sound pathetic. 

  • Having done some diplomatic work in the 70s and 80s on improving relations with Iran that now seems to be topical because of the opportunity to lessen the tensions and gain deeper mutual understanding and respect of the cultural differences (a natural byproduct of any legitimate diplomacy just by its structure and purposes), i am a bit reluctant to comment too much on this for fear it will be misunderstood or twisted by the opponents of any genuine peaceful solution. But i should say i always bought into the idea that without the superficial component of a man-woman relationship bonded by the looks of the woman, there inherently is the stronger uniting possible when it has to be based upon deeper and more meaningful mutual interests. That is almost by definition more romantic than the general openness of Western women when it is for that purpose. But living by a moral code of basic goodness to enhance the lives of people interacting for the betterment of societies is fine and admirable. Yet when that stifles the simple human impulse of the heart to rejoice in life as an individual person in the infinite universe we are all so blessed to share, unfettered by shackles that shouldn’t diminish that basic and natural joy in living, i say open the eyes and let’s all see life more clearly and not less.  

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    • congratulations mr

    • Brilliant reply! Kudos

    • +
    • Intruiging point!

    • I’d just add to my original posts about that that i’ve been exchanging emails since late March, 2014 with California Senator Dianne Feinstein. She sent me a fairly lengthy and detailed one about the international campaign to ramp up the economics sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program and that the (Senate) Intelligence Committee advised her to let the existing ones play out more fully and she has agreed, like me preferring to find a peaceful solution to the Iranian crisis if that is possible. And i did tell her about my posts here but did NOT mention any names just in case… I also have been emailing to Canadian federal parliamentarians, Dr. Hedy Fry and Ms. Libby Davies and British Columbia, Canada Premier Christy Clark. It would be stupid to think that Iran, potentially the most serious long term threat to any durable Israeli-Moslem (can’t say Arab here because Iran is Persians) peace settlement, doesn’t have an extraordinary influence over anything that continues beyond that “Arab Spring” that lit up the Middle East like a Roman candle and has since flickered so sadly in this era of economic reform and restructuring to be more responsive to the needs of poor people. As such, one recalls John F. Kennedy stating: “Economic growth without social progress lets the great majority of people remain in poverty while a privileged few reap the benefits of rising abundance.” I was very careful with my words about the attitude of Iranians and Moslems more generally to women in today’s evolving world. I quoted what i would think would be THE pertinent quote from ‘The Qu’ran’ about this: the augury around the neck verses from ‘The Children of Israel’. If this does garner public attention in future…well, in my view every woman should be fully capable of using every talent and ability God (or Allah or whatever name is deemed appropriate in this context) gave her to its fullest to contribute meaningfully to her personal life’s satisfaction and to make her society better. And i would dare to say in the name of God here. Unless i am contradicted on this point…isn’t that what that passage in ‘The Qu’ran’ says is God’s will? There has to be a public debate about this. We are not in the Dark Ages. Most families today have at least two breadwinners each and it would be ridiculous to not enable all to earn more via nurturing of their talents and adequately educating them. Yes, i will cut and paste this and send it to Senator Feinstein and the Canadians…

  • nice to see this woman from all over the world should be able to dress the way they want too bravo

  • I want to thank the women on this coment forum for sharing the truth about the countries they live in or have lived in. What ever creator there may be surly pushed for the internet. It is some times the only place where the truth can be freely shared 

    • Just clicked on the link and FB says the content is unavailable. Is this because of something Iran did to stop the campaign?

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      • This the facebook link if you care to supporthttps://www.facebook.com/StealthyFreedom

  • <p>Igh</p>

  • What a woman wears should be their decision. Not the decision of some Government waco.

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    • Modestly?Are the women to blame for men lusting after something so simple as hair? How is that fair? If anything, men should be punished for their blatant non-self control of themselves.I could go on and on about how wrong all this is but I refuse. At the end of the day, I think people should stop putting so much concern into other people’s appearance and start worrying more about their selves. 

  • The majority of muslims yes, the problem is that in Iran we our not muslims. We have been always forced by the minority to be muslims. If we don’t act that we are muslims we would not have education rights or even living rights. I’m saying this because I’m an iranian and you?My friends my family and all people around me are not muslims but we don’t have any other choices.  We drink alcohol in Iran but stealthy in our houses but when we go outside we must have hidjab. This is not our choiceWe can wake up who is sleeping but we can never wake someone who act like he’s sleeping. So wake up!

  • Majority of the muslim women wear hijab at their own will.It is western media and western propaganda that portrays as if women in muslim countries have no rights and are forced to do stuff. Infact, it in west that women are forced to show their body, not by law but throrugh brain washing done by western media, to be accpeted in the society. Women are given more respect then men in muslim countries. In west majority of the people don’t know that because western media will never show you that.

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    • An yet the authorities punish them if by their own will they decide not to wear one.

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      • 2 Questions:1) How do you know authorities punish them? Western Media is not realiable source at all, which only shows you what it wants you to see and believe.   2) Just like politicians in other countries – Politicians in muslims countries that have their own rules and laws for the pleasure of few rich/powerful/corrupt people’s benefits.It has nothing to do with Islam. Islam says “there is no compulsion in religion”.  

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      • I grew up in a muslim country where you would be forced to wear hijab or whipped and put in prison as the article says. It isn’t western medis saying this. You don’t know what you’re talking about clearly.

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      • +
      • *media

      • How about this? “Women are given more respect then men in muslim countries” until when actually do you respect women? by marrying 2nd wife or third wife is also called respect? in my country it is bigamy or polygamy and are punishable by our law.

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      • How about cheating on your wife? is there any law to stop that? Cheating is worse then marrying 2nd wife. and in islam, you can’t just go out and marry 2nd and 3rd wife. There are cirumstances in which you can marry 2nd wife and you need to treat all of your wifes equally if you do marry 2nd wife.

      • Women may be forced to wear hijab in the place you grew up but it has nothing to do with islam. It is the people who rule in that place who are at fault. BTW, if you don’t mind, where did you grow up?

      • They must wear the head veil. My proof is several of my counsins being caned in the middle of the street when they left the missionary without their veils. The choice they have is either follow the laws set before them or pay the painful consequences.

      • Your argument, like your English, is confused. I would rather trust the integrity of Western journalists who are free to think for themselves, than those who labour under repressive religious restrictions.  

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      • It is your choice.

      • Wow you are a moron. They get severly punished, they do not have a choice as to whether they wear a chador (we call them chadors not hijabs). I have tons of family in Iran and I have heard numerous accounts of the type of punishment involved with not covering your hair. It must be really nice to sit comfortably from behind a computer and question the oppression that people within these cultures are facing. Do everyone a favour and don’t undermine the severity of what is going on in Iran or other Middle Eastern countries. 

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      • He is not the only one. Many muslim women in the UK are the same. Totally deluded. Think that wearing a chador is feminism. I have had so much abuse from both men and women for being against any veil. They have no knowledge here that they support oppression in the countries where there is no choice. I’m so glad to see these women taking a step towards empowerment in Iran.

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      • Having grown up in a Muslim country, as a Muslim. I can certainly say that all Islamic countries do not force their women to wear a hijab, or punish them for not wearing one. The choice of a hijab is just that – a choiceas is the freedom to worship whichever religion you choose. Your actions, in Islam are between you and Allah, it’s not for anyone else to judge or force upon you. Having visited many more Islamic counties, I have seen that the case for Iran is not commonplace in the Muslim world. Islam believes in freedom of choice, I have Friends who have me it their choice to cover their hair, I respect them for that choice just as I respect myself and others for not.  No Person should be forced into anything. From my experience, the idea of forcing and punishing women to wear a hijab is non Islamic. It’s worth as much as making someone pray at gunpoint. Good on these women :) I hope they achieve the freedom to live and choice and believe what is true too them. 

    • You are disgustingly misinformed

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      • How? about which part? 

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    • I lived in the Middle East. I went to school in Iran. You are right.

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      • then why the threat of lashes. also, can women even attend school?

    • Are you ok? If is by choice, then let them choose. 70 lashes can kill. Whats respectful about this? I’ve lived in Muslin ruled countries….your posting is self serving. As for the whole notion of Western freedom; how about just freedom? Let them choose or it’s not choice; it is supression. 

    • No, in the West, women have a choice – to wear what they want, when they want and are not subject to the dictates of a misinterpretation of a 600 year old religious text.

    • Look, the only reason the West portrays Muslim countries as giving women no rights and forcing them to do stuff is because… that’s what the Muslim religion does.Believe me, the portrayal will change as soon as the Muslims do. 

    • The issue is that women don’t have the  right to choose. In western culture you can dress conservatively if you want to, or you can wear revealing clothes if you want to, it’s your choice! what this article highlights is the plight of women who don’t want to wear the hijab but don’t have the luxury of making that choice for themselves. 

  • Sending you all great love & blessings from Hollywood!!! What courage and inspiration you ALL are!!

  • Sisters…bless you for your courage and fearlessness. 

  • Guess we’ll be hearing about some hangings or beheading in the near future… the men in their country will not take this lightly. Islam … the religion of peace (rolling eyes).

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    • Islam is followed by 1/5th of the worlds population, over a billion people practice it and truly are peaceful. The women removing their veils are Muslim also. Don’t make judgements about minority groups, ruled by cultural conservative governments. Their laws have nothing to do with religion.

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      • Seconded. Islam isn’t bad. Christianity isn’t bad. Communists aren’t bad. Feminists aren’t bad. Extremists are.

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      • how does an extremist follower of jainism look like and behave? Extremism isnt the problem if your core believes are peacefull. Its an absolute meaningless aspect. Terrorists read from the quran themselfs. If your core believes are peacefull and non-violent you have to be on drugs to find justification for violence in it. I read the quran and many sahih collections many times so i know for fact that islam has a criminal dimension. Anyone one claims oherwise is either a muslim or is totally ignorant about the material

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      • +
      • I question whether you have read it or just the ‘collections’ of out of context verses you mentioned? I highly recommend reading it directly from the source (cover to cover-not select verses) as that simply isnt true. With context, the verses which many refer to, including the infamous “kill them wherever you find them” refer to specific people in that time and place who were raping and murdering them. Many of the verses relate directly to historical context also quoted in the Quran. Of course you have to read the entire thing to get all of the facts.Unfortunately, there are many clerics of Islam who preach AGAINST reading it directly, and that is the case with extremists. Many are uneducated and young, lacking the ability to read at all, let alone in Arabic.

      • In addition to my below comment: Islam does not in anyway allow for the killing of any innocent soul. For the Too Long Didn’t Read – TLDR crowd, I’ve included some quick quotes.Quotes from the Quran: 5:53 says, “… whoso kills a soul, unless it be for murder or for wreaking corruption in the land, it shall be as if he had killed all mankind; and he who saves a life, it shall be as if he had given life to all mankind.”2:256 There is no compulsion in religion. 8:61 But if the enemies incline towards peace, do you also incline towards peace. And trust in God! For He is the one who hears and knows all things.” 2:190, says, “Fight in the way of God against those who fight against you, but begin not hostilities. Lo! God loveth not aggressors.”5:8 “And do not let the hatred of a people prevent you from being just. Be just; that is nearer to righteousness.”5:69 “Surely they that believe, and those of Jewry, and the Christians, and those Sabeaans, whoso believes in God and the Last Day, and works righteousness–their wage waits them with their Lord, and no fear shall be on them, neither shall they sorrow.”(Historical Context 7th-century situation in the Muslim city-state of Medina, which was at war with pagan Mecca, the Quran notes that the polytheists and some Arabian Jewish tribes were opposed to Islam, but then goes on to say:

        5:82. ” . . . and you will find the nearest in love to the believers [Muslims] those who say: ‘We are Christians.’

        Quotes from HadithDo not be people without minds of your own, saying that if others treat you well you will treat them well, and that if they do wrong you will do wrong to them. Instead, accustom yourselves to do good if people do good and not to do wrong even if they do evil.” (Al-Tirmidhi)”Whoever kills a sparrow or anything bigger than that without a just cause, Allah will hold him accountable on the Day of Judgment.” And finally: Notes on ‘Jihad’ - http://haqqani.org.es/Contenidos/jihad.pdf

      • Well until all these “moderates” start telling the radicals and such to sit down and STFU  I simply dont beleive you.

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      • They have. By and large all major Islamic organizations have issued statements time and time again against it. Individual Muslims speak up, any way they can through social and public media against terrorism. How many times do they have to declare that its wrong? Isnt every day enough? Islam does not in anyway allow for the killing of any innocent soul.For the Too Long Didn’t Read – TLDR crowd, I’ve included some quick quotes.Quotes from the Quran: 5:53 says, “… whoso kills a soul, unless it be for murder or for wreaking corruption in the land, it shall be as if he had killed all mankind; and he who saves a life, it shall be as if he had given life to all mankind.”2:256 There is no compulsion in religion. 8:61 But if the enemies incline towards peace, do you also incline towards peace. And trust in God! For He is the one who hears and knows all things.” (8:61)2:190, says, “Fight in the way of God against those who fight against you, but begin not hostilities. Lo! God loveth not aggressors.”5:8 “And do not let the hatred of a people prevent you from being just. Be just; that is nearer to righteousness.”5:69 “Surely they that believe, and those of Jewry, and the Christians, and those Sabeaans, whoso believes in God and the Last Day, and works righteousness–their wage waits them with their Lord, and no fear shall be on them, neither shall they sorrow.”(Historical Context 7th-century situation in the Muslim city-state of Medina, which was at war with pagan Mecca, the Quran notes that the polytheists and some Arabian Jewish tribes were opposed to Islam, but then goes on to say:

        5:82. ” . . . and you will find the nearest in love to the believers [Muslims] those who say: ‘We are Christians.’

        Quotes from HadithDo not be people without minds of your own, saying that if others treat you well you will treat them well, and that if they do wrong you will do wrong to them. Instead, accustom yourselves to do good if people do good and not to do wrong even if they do evil.” (Al-Tirmidhi) “Whoever kills a sparrow or anything bigger than that without a just cause, Allah will hold him accountable on the Day of Judgment.” And finally: Notes on ‘Jihad’ - http://haqqani.org.es/Contenidos/jihad.pdf

  • Its good that they are doing this. no woman should be forced to wear something that they do not like. If they do not want to wear then its their choice and if u do then let it be. i know its the relgion that says woman need cover their hair. i never saw point of it. why should a woman cover their hair and men do not have to.

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    • and those men should see what its like to cover their own hair and even wear an abaya like some woman wear in other arab countries

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      • Muslim women wear veils because it’s a religious requirement, and most do so by choice. Nuns wear veils, Orthodox Jewish women shave their hair and either wear wigs or scarves. The same can be said of the Mennonites, the Amish, and the list goes on.It would be really awesome if you educated yourself. If you think all Muslims the same, then aren’t all Christians like the Westboro Baptist Church?    

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      • Often, under a Jewish woman’s wig or scarf (which is totally her choice about, even in Orthodoxy) there is hair. Those who sell the wigs also sell something like a cap to hold the woman’s hair in place while she wears the wig. Even Jewish women who are designers have spoken publicly about this. Personally, I think the scarves sit better on the head when there is hair long enough to put in a bun.

      • +
      • Hibitta B, did you mean to reply to someone else? I think you and C1988 are on the same side..

      • And if they choose not to they are beaten or killed.  yep.  that shows a peaceful religion.  Nuns CHOOSE to go into the habit.  So do the Amish.  Orthadox Jews can CHOOSe to be reform.  Muslims are in many places NOT given the choice.  That is the big difference

      • Here, here! 

      • If they wear the veil by CHOICE. Then should they not be allowed to CHOOSE to not wear the veil without the threat of being lashed or inprisoned, or having “moral police” pointing a gun at them and threatening them? Also, if the veils are worn by choice then why is an anti-veil activist woman exiled from her own home-country? So many of you actually agree with the pro-veil half, but have you ever been in the women’s shoes? How would you feel if you couldn’t take off a headdress when the heat is over 100 degrees and you are sweating in the garments you are required by law to wear or face serious punishment? If the veil is a choice to wear, why is it requited by LAW to wear? If you are required by law to do something, then is is not a freedom of choice.

      • Look in the Qu’ran – it’s not actually a religious requirement for a Muslim woman to wear a veil.

    • Why do women have to cover their chests but men don’t have to? 

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      • Where I live (Canada), women don’t have to cover their chests. :)

  • ….am I wrong, or doesn’t this go against the very tenets that state that wearing the hijab is the woman’s choice, her commitment to make??

  • This women are amazing. Freaking AMAZING. I am in awe. And they are so beutiful in their freedom.

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    • Ultimate respect for anyone that chooses to defy what is intrinsically wrong in their world. 

  • وهناك الكثير من الحب واحترام أخواتي!

  • Beautiful shots.Great women

  • It bothers me that you kept calling it a veil instead of a hijab. A veil covers the face.

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    • You need to look up the word. It is being used correctly. 

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      • No, it’s head scarf. Hijab for some reason has been used too much to represent head scarves. Hijab is prescribed both to men and women. Hijab is dressing modestly, lowering the gaze (for men, basically no perving!), no touching opposite genders unless they’re from your family or spouse.A head scarf is a head scarf.“Say to the believing men that they cast dawn their looks and guard their private parts; that is purer for them; surely Allah is Aware of what they do. And say to the believing women that they cast down their looks and guard their private parts and not display their ornaments except what appears there of, and let them wear their head-coverings over their bosoms, and not display their or name except to their husbands…” (Holy Qur’an, 24:30-31).

    • THAT’S what bothers you??? This article is about fighting opression and THAT’S WHAT BOTHERS YOU?  Do you really think these women would care about that, or should they be more concerned with gaining their freedom?  Seriously, get your priorities straight.  Your idiocy bothers me.

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      • Tammy do you get a lot out of being mean?  Why would you speak to her like that other than to make yourself feel superior?  I agree that the focus should be on the women and how they are standing up for their freedom.  You can support that without being so shrill and rude.

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      • @Pamela don’t you know? NGO’s and MGO’s must go around other countries and label them as oppressive, you know just like equal rights for “all” LOL 

    • +
    • Call me crazy, but “veil” is an English term which is defined by Merriam-Webster as “a piece of cloth or net worn usually by women over the head and shoulders and sometimes over the face”. The face-covering is a niqab, if I recall correctly. Veil is perfectly acceptable when referring to a hijab.

    • It bothered me too

    • Really Jade…please STFU.

    • Jade, it seems like you are clearly suffering from #FirstWorldProblems. 

    • We do have problems, do we? The proper term for the rage these poor women have to wear is hardly what this is all about.

    • It bothers me when white, privilege women pretend to know or understand.

    • You’re bothered by semantics? I don’t believe it.

  • Good for you ladies! Don’t let ANYONE tell you how to live YOUR life….especially a man who knows nothing about wearing a stupid scarf on their heads in 100+ degree weather. Love the expressions of freedom on their faces….it’s the best. 

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    • Actually, keeping the sun off of your skin is amazingly comfortable in the desert, and, if you happen to not have access to modern shelter or climate control, is a necessity for survival. The more exposed skin you have in the desert, the more moisture you lose to the atmosphere. Then dehydration sets in… Not too pretty.But yeah, the gist of what you’re saying is cool.

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      • Can’t you see the ocean pic !!!??? it is not desertsome par of iran is desert but non of these pic belongs to thouse are 

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      • Farrah – Do some research. Not all deserts are landlocked, and not all deserts look like lifeless sandy plains of death. It’s an extremely diverse climatic category. We really can’t tell from most of these pictures what the climate conditions are in the area pictured.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Desert_climate

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      • +
      • wikipedia: “ in which precipitation is too low to sustain any vegetation at all” ? don’t you see the greenary in the pictures? I am from part of Iran where it rains every single day in Fall. please educate yourself!

      • Maybe it helps in the desert. But these people are not living in the desert.

      • Adam do you really think Iran is a desert? :D Please, Please, Please at least google pictures of Iran, its capital and other cities before you compare it with a desert! Do research, don’t be stupid, thanks!

  • Simply gorgeous.

  • they look so much happier and free.

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    • They do =) but you have to admit some of they’re hijabs are simply beautifuly made, I have seen a few here in the states and very well made and designed. Wish they could have been a fashion item not something that they had to wear

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      • Yes, the garment can be quite lovely, and the loose look is more an adornment than a masking. But all should have the choice whether or not, and how.My best wishes to the women protesting.

    • no not really lol. Maybe your dellusion, aren’t naked canadian chicks good enough that you go after these girls? LOL 

  • No wonder the men make them cover up their faces!  They do not want the rest of the world to know how beautiful their women are and come try to steal them! :)

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