Iranian women discard their hijabs for 'stealthy freedom' Facebook page

Women have been posting pictures of their brief moments of freedom after removing their hijab in public

Women in Iran have been posting pictures of themselves after 'stealthily' taking their hijabs off in public, in a country where it is illegal for a female to leave the house without wearing a headscarf under Islamic law.

Over 150 photos have been posted to the Stealthy Freedoms of Iranian Women Facebook page which has amassed more than 140,000 likes since it was created just a week ago by the Iranian journalist Masih Alinejad.

Ms Alinejad, who left Iran to pursue her studies in the UK in 2009, told The Independent the page began when she posted a photograph of herself driving down a road in the country without wearing a headscarf.

The image was captioned with: “Hijab is being forced on women not only by the Morality Police, but also out of consideration for family, through wanting to keep a job and because of fear of judgment from others."

"I wrote that I had experienced all of these pressures too," she explained. "I was sure that most Iranian women who don’t believe in the forced hijab have enjoyed freedom in secret, [so] I asked them if they wished to share this moment of stealth freedom."

The picture that started it all - Masih Alinejad driving in Iran The picture that started it all - Masih Alinejad driving in Iran The response she received shortly after starting the page was "staggering", something she feels "delighted" at, but not surprised by.

In the photos, which Ms Alinejad publishes without including full names, women in different outdoor environments can be seen after removing their hijabs alongside a few words describing the lack of freedom embodied in having to wear a hijab, or what it means to be briefly remove it in public.

The site is dedicated to Iranian women inside the country "who want to share their 'stealthily' taken photos without the veil".

Ms Alinejad said: "It is a basic right for any person to have freedom of choice. Women in Iran, along with many other countries, want to choose what they wear. It should not be legislated nor should it be enforced."

One post shows a smiling woman stood by the Valasht Lake in Iran, accompanied by the caption: “I was bursting with happiness to feel the wind through my hair without someone around to see it and warn me to keep covered properly.”

In another, a woman can be seen sat by the Tomb of Cyrus in Iran with her back turned to the camera. "The police officer who was around saw that my daughter and I wanted to take photos with our scarves taken off," she explains in the accompanying text.

"He said: 'Go on..take your photos the way you please. The person who has been sleeping here for long years is the source of the whole world's freedom and this place belongs to everybody.'"

Iran's president Hassan Rouhani has expressed more progressive views than his predecessors since his election. On the subject of the strict Islamic dress code that includes the hijab, he said he was against a crackdown on women wearing looser clothing in the sweltering summers.

"I'm certainly against these actions," Rouhani told youth magazine Chelcheragh in response to religious police who monitor loose hijabs and inappropriate clothing during the warmer months earlier this year.

"If a women or a man does not comply with our rules for clothing, his or her virtue should not come under question.. In my view, many women in our society who do not respect our hijab laws are virtuous. Our emphasis should be on the virtue."

However, more conservative men and women have staged protests in Tehran demanding authorities act on women wearing 'bad' hijab.

Life and Style
tech

Sales of the tablet are set to fall again, say analysts

News
A Brazilian wandering spider
news

World's most lethal spider found under a bunch of bananas

Life and Style
gaming

I Am Bread could actually be a challenging and nuanced title

News
Nigel Farage has backed DJ Mike Read's new Ukip song
i100
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
tech

Company decides to go for simply scary after criticising other sites for 'creepy and targeted' advertising

Sport
Mario Balotelli pictured in the win over QPR
footballInternet reacts to miss shocker for Liverpool striker
News
news

Footage shot by a passerby shows moment an ill man was carried out of his burning home

Voices
Sol Campbell near his home in Chelsea
voices
News
i100
News
Kimi the fox cub
newsBurberry under fire from animal rights group - and their star, Kimi
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

**SEN Primary Teacher Serf Unit **

£110 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Preston: We are looking for an experie...

ICT Teacher - NQTs encouraged to apply

£110 - £130 per day + TBC : Randstad Education Reading: ICT Teacher needed up ...

KS2 Teacher

Negotiable: Randstad Education Plymouth: Primary Teaching Job in the Devon We ...

KS1 Teacher

Negotiable: Randstad Education Plymouth: Primary Teaching Job in the Devon We ...

Day In a Page

Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album
Hugh Bonneville & Peter James: 'Peter loves his classic cars; I've always pootled along fine with a Mini Metro. I think I lack his panache'

How We Met: Hugh Bonneville & Peter James

'Peter loves his classic cars; I've always pootled along fine with a Mini Metro. I think I lack his panache'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's heavenly crab dishes don't need hours of preparation

Bill Granger's heavenly crab recipes

Scared off by the strain of shelling a crab? Let a fishmonger do the hard work so you can focus on getting the flavours right
Radamel Falcao: How faith and love drive the Colombian to glory

Radamel Falcao: How faith and love drive the Colombian to glory

After a remarkable conversion from reckless defender to prolific striker, Monaco's ace says he wants to make his loan deal at Old Trafford permanent
Terry Venables: Premier League managers must not be allowed to dictate who plays and who does not play for England

Terry Venables column

Premier League managers must not be allowed to dictate who plays and who does not play for England
The Inside Word: Brendan Rodgers looks to the future while Roy Hodgson is ghost of seasons past

Michael Calvin's Inside Word

Brendan Rodgers looks to the future while Roy Hodgson is ghost of seasons past