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Islam has not given anybody right to enforce dress code on women

23 September 2022
Islam has not given anybody right to enforce dress code on women


Iranian women came to the streets protesting the custodial death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who was arrested by morality police in Tehran for "unsuitable attire". She broke the law of the Iranian dress code requiring women to cover their heads with hijab, or headscarf, and their arms and legs with loose clothing. Though the authorities said that the young woman died by 'heart failure', it is alleged that she died because she was beaten at her head with a baton that led her to a state of coma after she had collapsed. Then she died. This is bigotry, not the ruling of a civilised country.


Soon the news of her death on September 16 spread, it unleashed a wave of anger over issues including freedom in the Islamic Republic. The country and its economy are reeling from international, especially US, sanctions. This time the protest became very widespread and at least six protesters were killed. Protesting women burnt headscarves and cut their hair in the open.   


The death of Mahsa Amini that sparked remonstration against the authorities' imposition of arbitrary Islamic dress code received wide media coverage around the world. Since the Iranian Revolution in 1979, the Ayatollah regime gradually imposed a stricter Islamic dress code which negated the fundamental right of women about the clothes they choose to wear. Before the Revolution, Iranian women used to wear clothes as they pleased.


Obviously, women have the right to wear clothes as they choose. But there are regimes around the world, such as Iran or Afghanistan, that infringe upon women's rights with restrictions on movement, activities and dresses. In Afghanistan also, women's freedom is severely curtailed as they are prohibited to attend high schools that is contrary to the tenets of Islam that strongly exhorts, both men and women, to seek knowledge. Islam also encourages women to serve public duty and join workplace.


Dominating women by men is not Islam. Islam recognises rights of women. Claiming supremacy over women treating them as slaves is against the spirit of Islam. Iranians are a great people. They have great history and culture. Islam is not about dark age and a forward-moving religion.

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