Facebook is full of clutter, most of it noisy opinions and chatty gossip but then something comes along that matters.
Women in Iran are taking to social media to peacefully defy the hijab law in Iran, posting photos of themselves hijab-less for a brief moment out in public. At the beach, in the countryside, in town, riding bikes, running or posing, women are sharing pictures of “stealthy” moments of freedom.
The Facebook page, “Stealthy Freedoms of Iranian Women,” was created May 3 by London based Iranian political journalist Masih Alinejad and has already reached more than 180,000 likes and posts from hundreds of Iranian men and women.
One photo caption on the Facebook page reads, “Freedom is every person’s right! Freedom…happiness…colorfulness…is every Iranian woman’s right.” Another reads, “No words to say. Just that freedom is wonderfully enjoyable; even a brief moment of it.”
Since the Islamic Revolution 35 years ago, it has been illegal for women to leave the house without wearing a hijab. Punishment for doing so can include massive fines.
Alinejad, whose mother wears a hijab, says she has no intention of causing defiance with #StealthyFreedom for Iranian Women. She believes that people should have the freedom to choose. “I have no intention whatsoever to encourage people to defy the forced hijab or stand up against it,” she said. “I just want to give voice to thousands and thousands of Iranian women who think they have no platform to have their say.”
Although there are progressive thoughts about the hijab in Iran, more conservative men and women have staged protests in Tehran demanding authorities act on women wearing “bad” hijab.