February 1 marked World Hijab Day, an annual expression of solidarity with “millions of Muslim women who choose to wear the hijab and live a life of modesty.” Less than two weeks earlier, on January 20, a Women’s March was held — with rallies across the United States — to re-enact the protests of the previous year against the election of President Donald Trump.
Bizarrely, Western feminists devoting their energy to supporting the right of Muslim women to wear the Islamic headscarf and highlighting the “MeToo” and “Time’s Up” movements against sexual harassment, have been ignoring the genuine plight of their counterparts in the Islamic Republic of Iran and elsewhere in the Middle East, Asia and the Indian Subcontinent.
Vida Movahed, for instance, age 31, publicly removed her hijab and placed it on a stick in the streets of Tehran. For this act of freedom-seeking defiance, she was arrested and sent to prison.
The courage of women such as Movahed — who, alongside men, was protesting the ayatollah-led regime — emboldened other women in Iran to discard their hijabs and demand their rights as women and as individuals.