Thousands of Iranian women are defying the law and taking off their hijabs (head scarves) and uploading their photos for a Facebook page, but could their actions be dangerous?
The page called “Stealthy Freedoms of Iranian Women” — created on May 3 by an London-based journalist — posts photos of women of all ages defying the country’s strict hijab law and removing the traditional item.
The photos of the Iranian women without their hijabs have generated much media attention and thus far the page has over 191,000 likes.
But could all the promotion of the blatantly defiant actions be dangerous for the Iranian women, who boldly reveal their identities for all to see?
“I verify every single image, and post them anonymously,” page creator Maish Alinejad says. “I don’t know who runs these other pages, maybe it’s the government, maybe it’s someone who wants to abuse the pictures. It could be dangerous for the women. I worry that they may be sending their images in the wrong direction.”
One of the mouthpieces of Iranian propaganda, the Fars News Agency has condemned the page — where dozens of women are expressing themselves and dropping the sometimes controversial garment — accusing Alinejad of collaborating with Iran’s enemies, according to the Wall Street Journal.
“Every single minute I receive emails and Facebook messages, bombarding me with images,” Alinejad told TIME.
According to article 638 of Islamic Penal Code of the Islamic Republic of Iran: “Women, who appear in public places and roads without wearing an Islamic hijab, shall be sentenced to ten days to two months of imprisonment or a fine of fifty thousand to five hundred Rials.”
Here are just some of the dozens of photos posted to the Facebook page:
The page creator insists she is not asking for Iranian women to defy the hijab law, so much so, that her mother wears one:
“I’m not asking people to take off their scarves. But you never see these ordinary, smiling women, full of color in the Iranian papers. I’m not fighting the hijab, I’m fighting censorship.”
The controversy regarding wearing the hijab escalates every summer when Iranian women have to deal with very hot temperatures while covering not only their heads, but the rest of their bodies with lose fitting dresses.
The government has police officers watching Iranian women in public places very closely and making sure they follow hijab law and don’t pull their head scarves back too much.
Twitter is also supporting the Iranian women with the hashtag #mystealthywomen:
What do you think of the Stealthy Freedoms of Iranian Women Facebook page? Great idea or dangerous?
[Image courtesy of Stealthy Freedoms of Iranian Women/Facebook]