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Opinions

Rouhani and Zarif: How Can you Say There is No Problem with Hijab?

September 15, 2017
Questions for Messrs Rouhani and Zarif
2 min read
Rouhani and Zarif: How Can you Say There is No Problem with Hijab?

Next week, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif will participate in the 72nd session of the UN General Assembly. Speeches by world leaders are scheduled to start on September 18. And, as with other years, Rouhani and Zartif will host news conferences and answer questions from the press.

We asked the journalist Masih Alinejad, founder of My Stealthy Freedom, which campaigns against compulsory hijab and discriminatory laws against women in Iran, to conduct an imaginary interview with Mr. Zarif.

“Once Mr. Zarif was asked about the issue of hijab in Iran — and he said that nobody had any problems with hijab in Iran,” says Alinejad.

This article was originally published in September 2016.

 

Mr. Zarif, recently you asked the international community to stand up against extremism. But in Iran we are witness to the most extreme laws against women. Does your call apply to the situation in Iran as well?

We do not believe that there are any extremist laws in Iran.

Islam says that girls must wear hijab when they reach nine but the Islamic Republic has gone one step further and forces the girls of seven to wear hijab when they go to school. Isn’t this law extremism? Or when women are banned from riding bicycles isn’t it also extreme? I just want your personal opinion.

If extremism existed in Iran then Iranian people would be unhappy and would not participate in the elections. But Iranian people do vote.

But voting is not the same as approving. Many people who vote hope for change. Do you think Iranian women are happy to wear hijab?

I don’t believe women of my country have any problems with hijab. This is the law of our country and Iranian people respect the law. Of course sometimes they exaggerate what happens inside Iran, but most Iranian women like the hijab and are more comfortable with the Islamic outfit.

Mr. Zarif, I have brought a headscarf with me. Please wear it for a few minutes and imagine that it is compulsory. Then tell me how you feel.

 

Watch our video about My Stealthy Freedom's newest campaign against girls as young as seven being forced to wear hijab. 

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