Iranian Raisi says hijab is law as women face ‘yogurt attack’ | News

Iran’s president says the hijab is the law after a viral video shows a man throwing yogurt at uncovered women in Masshad.

President Ebrahim Raisi said the hijab was a “legal matter” in Iran after a video emerged showing a man throwing yogurt at two uncovered women in a shop near the Shiite Muslim holy city.

A growing number of women have defied authorities by shedding their veils following nationwide protests that followed the death in September of a 22-year-old Iranian Kurdish woman in police custody for allegedly violating hijab rules. The security forces violently suppressed the protests.

A video has emerged showing two customers entering the store. Not long after that, a man approached the women and spoke to them. He then picks up what appears to be a large pot of yogurt and dumps its contents on the heads of the two women.

Judicial authorities in a town near the northeastern city of Mashhad ordered the arrest of two women, a mother and her daughter, for violating Iran’s strict rules on women’s dress and “committing a prohibited act,” state media reported Saturday.

Authorities have issued an arrest warrant against the man “on charges of committing an offensive act and disturbing the peace,” judicial website Mizan Online reported.

Risking arrest for defying the mandatory dress code, women are still often seen naked in malls, restaurants, shops and on the streets across the country.
Social networks were flooded with videos of exposed women resisting the moral police.

Speaking live on state television, Raisi said: “If some people say they don’t believe [in the hijab] … it is good to use persuasion … But it is important that there is a legal requirement … and the hijab is a legal matter today.

Authorities said the dairy store owner, who confronted the attacker, was warned.

Reports on social media indicated his shop was closed, although a local news agency quoted him as saying he was allowed to reopen and had to “give explanations” to the court.

Chief Justice Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejei earlier threatened to prosecute women who appear naked in public “without mercy,” Iranian media reported.

“Exposure equals hostility [our] values,” Ejei told several news sites.

He added that Iran’s enemies abroad were encouraging the violations.

Under Iranian law imposed after the 1979 revolution, women are required to cover their hair and wear long, loose clothing to cover their figures. Violators faced public reprimand, fine or arrest.

Describing the veil as “one of the civilizational foundations of the Iranian nation” and “one of the practical principles of the Islamic Republic”, an Interior Ministry statement on Thursday said there would be no “retraction or tolerance” on the issue.

It called on citizens to confront women without veils. Such directives in previous decades have encouraged some people to attack women with impunity.

The government has often turned a blind eye to violations of the hijab rule, but this has sparked outrage among pro-government religious leaders and politicians.

According to media reports, the religious leader and lawmaker on Saturday threatened to take action themselves if the government does not step forward and implement rules requiring individuals to wear the hijab.

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