Dress code

Woman in Iran barred from assuming elected office because she didn’t wear hijab

Minoo Khaleghi

Another day, another fight over what is quickly becoming the world’s most controversial item of clothing: the hijab. A woman in Iran who won election to a seat in the country’s Parliament is being blocked from assuming office by hardliners who say they’ve dug up photographic evidence that she’s “betrayed the nation.” In February, Minoo Khaleghi cruised to victory, along with several other independents and reformists (including 17 other women), in the national elections. However, hardliners in Iran’s government say she shouldn’t be allowed to serve because they’ve unearthed photos of Khaleghi that show her not wearing a hijab, the Islamic headscarf Iranian women are mandated to wear, in public while traveling in Europe and China.

Khaleghi has fired back at the those who released the photos, accusing them of trying to suppress a woman’s political voice, and announced that she’s suing them. “I am a Muslim woman, adhering to the principles of Islam,” she wrote in a statement, adding that the release of the photos showed the “political greed” motivating the hardliners’ actions. The group of hardliners has even undermined Iran’s more moderate president, Hassan Rouhani. In a post on Twitter, Rouhani had congratulated all 18 women who were elected to office, saying, “We are happy that the dear ladies of our country are present in all scenes and especially in politics.”

It’s unclear whether Khaleghi will ever be able to take office given that, at this stage, her political fate now rests in the hands of one man.

Read the full story at The New York Times.

Related:

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Muslim women sue restaurant claiming they were kicked out for wearing hijabs

Iranian actress who posted photos online not wearing a hijab forced to flee country

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