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Source: IranWire

Apr 23, 2024

Pro-Hijab Rally in Iran Fails to Gain Public Support


A call made for a government-sponsored rally in support of compulsory hijab in Iran has again met with disdain. 

A recent rally was held in Tehran to "protest against non-compliance with hijab," among numerous other such demonstrations organized in the past few months by various institutions of the Islamic Republic.

Despite fervent advertisements, no substantial participation materialized.

Media outlets affiliated with the Islamic Republic labeled the protest as "spontaneous." They reported it as an assembly of "veiled women advocating against non-hijab and inappropriate attire" on April 22. 

Contrary to these assertions, a message circulated on a local messaging network originating from a channel linked to Tehran's Command Propagation of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice.

The message urged participation in a "Support for Chastity and Hijab" rally, denouncing efforts for having clothing choices as "enemy plots" and calling on "all veiled and concerned women" to march. 

Despite extensive promotion, eyewitnesses confirm that the gathering barely numbered 300 attendees. 

An eyewitness spoke to IranWire regarding the mandatory hijab supporters' assembly, saying, "Until four o'clock in the afternoon, the covered tent barely sheltered 300 attendees.

However, the organized parking of buses around the square suggested a potentially coordinated effort."

Participants of this ostensibly spontaneous rally brandished red flags and were closely monitored by plainclothed officers on motorcycles stationed on the square's north side.

They echoed slogans such as "Revolutionary police ... Thank you, police force," " Hijab is our honor," and "The silence of every Muslim is a betrayal of the Quran." 

Nevertheless, low turnout failed to facilitate the intended "march," which concluded at Valiasr Square.

Similar gatherings advocating for hijab in various Iranian cities have met a comparable fate.

After the start of the Woman, Life, Freedom protests in 2022, the Islamic Republic repeatedly called for assemblies under diverse pretexts. 

The propaganda machine previously mobilized its supporters amidst massive public dissent, notably during the November 2019 protests. 

Since April 13, Iran's law enforcement agencies have intensified the enforcement of hijab regulations under the national action plan "Noor."

Across Iran, there have been numerous reports of women being arrested and subjected to the use of force due to perceived violations of dress codes. 

Users across social networks are participating in a spontaneous campaign using the hashtag "war against women" to document their experiences and observations regarding the government's crackdown on the opponents of mandatory hijab.

Reports have surfaced detailing the use of repressive tactics, particularly on female students in various universities.

Moreover, pressure has also been mounting on civil activists, political dissenters, women political prisoners, and cultural figures.

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