While thousands of women across Iran no longer wear the hijab, some regime officials are still in a state of denial and call for strict rules to control women.

In an interview with the IRGC-linked Fars news agency, Ali Khanmohammadi, the spokesman for the Headquarters To Promote Virtues and Prohibit Vice, the jargon for the morality police, called hijab defiance “a worrying situation and an onslaught on Islamic rules.” He called on government institutions, meaning the police and the IRGC, to stop the behavior.

Khanmohammadi further warned that if the compulsory hijab rules are undermined, soon respect for other laws will also disappear.

The clerical regime has made hijab an existential issue for itself, trying to enforce it almost at any cost, including running the risk of renewed protests.

Former Deputy Judiciary Chief Mohammad Javad Larijani said recently that “the presence of a few unveiled women is not the social reality in Iran.” Meanwhile he called the behavior of women who remove their headscarves “sedition,” an offence that entails punishments as harsh as the death sentence in an Islamic society.

On the other hand, a prominent reformist cleric told Rouiydad24 website that the country’s officials have given up dealing with major problems and all they do is intervention in the people’s lifestyle and invading their privacy.

This comes while ultraconservative lawmaker Javad Karimi Qoddusi said on Sunday, that forceful methods that the morality police uses no longer work in Iran because people have become emboldened because of recent protests.

Critics say that some clerics including the Friday Imam of Qeshm island have gone out of their way and shut down people’s shops for allowing unveiled women to shop. He said this is strictly against the religion and the law. He characterized such behavior as radical and a disgrace to the religion.

A few clerics have told the media that trying to force people to accept religious rules will discourage even the pious from following the religion. They warn that radical behaviors against unveiled women can lead to public insecurity while the government’s main responsibility is to keep society and people secure.

Although many Iranians have seen videos that show the Friday Imam of Qeshm shutting down shops and harassing shopkeepers and shoppers in the island’s malls, Gholamreza Hajebi has denied doing what is seen in videos, and accused his critics of distorting reality.

Iranian lawyer Nemat Ahmadi has likened the cleric’s behavior of medieval Muslim rulers who did not have any respect for justice and punished whoever they did not like on the spot without asking questions first. He added that the least the Friday Imam of Qeshm can be charged with is undermining the principle of separation of the executive, legislative and judiciary bodies. However, the cleric cannot be associated with any one of the three bodies of the government.

Meanwhile, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has spoken differently about the government’s reaction to the resistance against hijab in his speeches. While at times insisting on the enforcement of hijab, at other times he has said that even those who do not cover their hair are his daughters. However, security forces and their vigilante agents are under Khamenei’s control.

While many have warned that strict measures against women might lead to confrontation between various groups, in his latest Eid al-Fitr sermon on Saturday, Khamenei advised government officials to avoid creating confrontations between citizens.

Some have interpreted this as Khamenei’s signal to relax hijab rule, but so far all the signs point at the opposite direction.

Source » iranintl