By Hamideh Taati
The Iranian regime’s State Security Forces have increased pressure on women by tightening the rules on compulsory veiling.
Ayyoub Soleimani, the acting commander of the State Security Forces, has once again said that any woman who removes her hijab, whether to protest the sexist law or for any other reason, is committing an obvious crime and would be dealt with by the police.
He then went on to make a ridiculous comparison between hijabs and seatbelts, after a reporter asked him why taxi drivers were being punished when passengers removed the veil during a ride.
Soleimani said: “The legal responsibility of any car is with the owner. Just like the passenger’s failure to fasten the seat belt, for which the car owner must account before the law, drivers must note and be committed to their legal responsibility. They must not allow their passengers to break the law by removing their veil. All agencies must emphasize on their rules for observing the veil and Islamic principles.”
Of course, one might well ask why anyone would be punished for a woman’s dress, but the answer to that is misogyny; pure and simple.
This question about the taxi driver and veils stems from an incident on June 10, when a driver from the SNAP company gave a warning to a female passenger he considered to be improperly veiled. (This could mean anything from having removed the veil altogether to her hair being slightly visible.) He then dropped her off before her destination in a place where she had no access to other transportation, leaving her to make her own way home. The woman tweeted about her mistreatment and her story garnered much attention.
The State Security Forces have been cracking down on people all over Iran for what they consider immoral behaviour. On June 8, it was reported by the state-run ROKNA news agency that a group of men and women were arrested in Mazandaran for dressing in swimming suits while riding boats in a dam.
While in Kermanshah, the State Security Forces reported arresting 611 people, including 64 women, during the month of Ramadan for eating in public and other things that are against the regime’s values.
Mohammad Reza Amou’ii, social deputy of the State Security Forces Command in Kermanshah Province, said that over 4,000 people had been warned about eating in public and that food shops and restaurants that had broken the regime’s rules had been sealed up.