While the march for women’s rights in Washington this year took place under the banner of #MeToo against sexual harassment, in Iran dozens of women were taking to the streets to protest against theocracy and compulsory wearing of the hijab. The Iranian women waved white flags to fight against the mullahs’ obligation to veil. But the white flag was not a surrender; it was apparently a symbol of Western feminists. As the Australian Rita Panahi wrote, “while the brave Iranian women protested against hijab laws, Western feminists celebrated hijab”.
On February 1, many of these Iranian women were arrested for not wearing a hijab. On that very day, the World Hijab Day was celebrated in the West, and Western appeasers celebrated the veil. Even British PM Theresa May backed the claim that women should be “free” to wear hijab. A few days after that, the American department store Macy’s decided to sell the hijab as an item of fashion clothing. Unfortunately, in some Islamic countries, women are not “free” to wear the veil; they are obliged to wear the veil, as the arrests in Iran show us.
Instead of a celebration of Islamist discrimination against women, the West should promote a #MeToo in the mosque — the idea of an Egyptian, Mona Eltahawi. She would like to raise the issue of rape and sexual abuse suffered by Muslim women during the hajj pilgrimage to Mecca.