Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei published a piece on Sunday suggesting Iran’s late Reza Shah – the grandfather of Iran’s Crown Prince Reza Pahlavi – committed a grave “evil” by banning the compulsory hijab.
“One of the gravest crimes committed by the evil Pahlavi regime was the issue of January 8th, 1936,” Khamenei stated, referring to the banning of the head covering. “The banning of hijab removed the privacy screen and distance set forth by Islam between the two sexes. Hijab is a wholesome practice that benefits men and women, as well as society.”
Khamenei went on to write that the head covering was a sign of “dignity and decency” for women and that it “was meant to keep people occupied with powerful sexual desires.”
Many women in Muslim-majority countries that require women to cover up have spoken out about their experiences with being grabbed and sexually harassed by men, even when they are fully clothed.
A woman named Farzana told the United Kingdom-based Independent, “I had my crotch grabbed in Pakistan in the bazaar. It was very crowded and I didn’t see who did it. I had a niqaab (full face covering) on at the time.” She reportedly added, “Before that when I was 16, a tailor in Pakistan felt up my breasts in front of my mum while he was measuring me. I didn’t realize what happened until afterwards when I thought about the event and processed it.”
At the end of his op-ed, Khamenei linked to a speech he gave in the holy Muslim city of Qom in 2009, which he wrote shortly before the Green Revolution of 2009 when former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was fraudulently elected in a “landslide” victory.
Khamenei wrote that the late Reza Shah “destroyed religious ideals, moral values, economic growth and our international honor; in short, all the assets of a nation were among the acts that the dictatorial and tyrannical regime committed.”
Meanwhile, in Iran, protesters have been reportedly calling for the return of the late Reza Shah. As Iran has shut down most of the nation’s access to social media, videos of protests in the nation’s largest cities are trickling out at a slow pace, often through accounts with ties to protesters on the ground rather than mainstream media outlets. Breitbart News could not independently verify these videos:
#IranianProtesters chanting for the KING #RezaShah and #CNN and other Media ignore it! That is the truth about my country #Iran and how #IranianProtests have been treated by the Media! pic.twitter.com/VbwXxC51Ua
— Khosro Fravahar (@KFravahar) January 3, 2018