In a recent incident in Iran, security forces arrested two women who were targeted by a man for not wearing the hijab, a mandatory headscarf in the country since 1983. The man threw yogurt on their heads in a heated altercation. The assailant was also detained and had his freedom restricted. The incident has sparked widespread debate and tensions in the country.
The arrest of the two women and the aggressor was announced after a video went viral showing the man arguing with a mother and her daughter in a store. Neither woman was wearing a hijab. He then grabbed a container of yogurt without paying and poured it over the heads of the women, as reported by the Mizan news agency.
The store owner reportedly pushed the attacker out onto the street. Authorities arrested the assailant for “disturbing public order.” The shop owner received a “warning” for allowing the women to enter his store without wearing the required headscarf, as reported by the EFE news agency.
This incident comes amid heightened tensions in Iran following protests triggered by the death of Mahsa Amini in September. The protests have nearly vanished due to a severe state crackdown, resulting in nearly 500 deaths and the public hanging of four protesters, including one in public.
Despite the repression, many women have stopped wearing the hijab in the streets as a form of protest and civil disobedience. As women continue to engage in acts of civil disobedience, more conservative voices are calling for the enforcement of laws that mandate the headscarf.
This week, Iran’s Ministry of Interior described the hijab as “one of the pillars of Iranian civilization” and “one of the principles of the Islamic Republic,” as well as “a religious necessity.” Local media outlets have reported that Iranian authorities are drafting a new law to enforce the use of the hijab once again. Despite ongoing protests, they plan to impose fines of up to $6,000.