A video that went viral on Twitter on Friday shows a female Iranian protester in Tehran taking off her Islamic headscarf, putting it on a stick and waving it like a flag. She did this amidst a sea of fellow protesters and in the presence of the military policing force, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard.
When a new regime came to power in Iran in 1979, female head coverings like the hijab became mandatory.
Although media reports claim this law is no longer enforced in cities like Tehran, it is in fact still enforced, and the penalty has simply been lessened. For instance, the woman in the video has since been arrested for taking off her hijab.
The protesters in Iran oppose the Islamic fundamentalist government, especially its highly restrictive laws and its ties to certain Muslim clerics who endorse terrorism and other forms of violence.
Following the brave woman's arrest, people started leaving flowers on the spot where she made her now-famous stand.
The image of the young lady taking off her hijab stands in contrast with the figure of Linda Sarsour, a U.S. radical feminist and left-wing activist who proudly wears the hijab and praises it as a form of "empowerment."
The video of the woman taking off her hijab and waving it in the air was shared on Twitter by Muslim-born Armin Navabi, founder of website Atheist Republic. He was raised by lax Muslims in Iran and is now an outspoken atheist and ex-Muslim. He captioned the video, "This woman in #Iran took off her #Hijab to protest the mandatory Islamic dress code imposed on Iranian women."
Journalist Sohrab Ahmari, an immigrant from Iran and convert to Catholicism, wrote on Twitter Monday: "The Iranian people have no beef with Israel or Saudi Arabia and certainly not with America. To most of them, 'Gaza' is a meaningless abstraction. What they want is a normal, proud and prosperous nation-state."
Ahmari's tweet linked to an article he wrote in collaboration with Peter Kohanloo. The article is entitled "An Iranian Revolution of National Dignity." As their commentary notes, the protesters are calling for an Iranian Republic, rather than the current Islamic Republic of Iran.
He was set to appear Tuesday afternoon on Fox News, but the interview with Dana Perino was apparently canceled due to a White House press conference.
A report on Monday on Iranian television said that 12 people had been killed in the ongoing clashes between police and protesters. The counting was questionable, and the number continues rising as protests go on.