Students clash over hijab at Tehran University

Clashes broke out at Tehran University today amid anger over the enforcement of Islamic laws which force female students to wear a headscarf.  

Students claimed that Iran’s religious police and security forces had entered the campus to warn female students that they had to obey the hijab laws.  

A university boss in charge of cultural affairs had reportedly attempted to speak to students but was ‘physically prevented’ from doing so. 

The university vice president, Majid Sarsangi, denied any police or security forces had entered the campus. 

But he said ‘two groups of students with opposing thoughts and ideals unfortunately clashed with each other while we tried to calm down the enraged students.’ 

Protest organisers have claimed that female students faced ‘severe checks when entering the university’. 

‘The imposition of one type of attire on students… is a direct violation of their human rights,’ according to a student statement. 

Fars news agency, which is close to ultra-conservatives, said scuffles broke out between the protesters and other students who supported compulsory hijabs. 

They ‘were shouting slogans against attire laws and observance of hijab,’ Ali Tolouie, the head of Tehran University Student Basij Organisation, told Fars. 

Mr Tolouie declared that the protesters’ statement ‘shows they are against Islam itself’. 

There were no reports of any casualties or arrests.

Following the 1979 Islamic revolution, compulsory hijab-wearing was enforced throughout Iran. 

The new laws forced Iranian women to dress modestly and cover themselves with the Islamic veil. 

Every year with the advent of the holy Islamic month of Ramadan authorities strictly enforce the mandatory Islamic dress code.

Ramadan this year started on May 5 and continues until June 4. 

There have been a number of protests by women over the years, with the latest major protests being the ‘Dokhtaran-e enghelab’, or the Girls of Revolution Street. 

That protest began after an Iranian woman stood on a pillar box on Enghelab Avenue in Tehran and raised her white veil on a stick, in December 2017. 

Her protest was copied by women in different cities in spite of a number of arrests that followed.   


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