Members of Iran’s morality police are pressuring women into wearing the veil inside Christian places of worship.
Female officers were pictured outside the medieval Holy Savior Cathedral in Isfahan, enforcing the Islamic theocracy’s repressive “modesty laws”.
Visitors reported being lectured on whether or not their hijab was “appropriate” as they entered the Christian sanctuary, part of the Armenian Orthodox Church.
The photograph above shows a woman taking off her hijab in defiance after going inside the church. Other women behind her can be seen still wearing theirs.
Iranian law stipulates that every woman must wear a veil, in accordance with their interpretation of Islam.
The laws apply equally in all public places – but the spectacle of enforcing them at another religion’s place of worship could be seen as especially galling.
Women who were stopped outside the cathedral, known locally as the Vank Church, shared their story with the My Stealthy Freedom social media campaign.
They attacked the “ridiculous” situation and supported the campaign to change the law:
The photo that I sent you shows the Vanak [sic] Church of Isfahan. It was ridiculous! Two female officers blamed us for what we’d been wearing, which is such a shame, isn’t it?
How would American Muslims react if they were forced to enter their mosques without hijab? Why should we put up with such a disgrace to women in the name of law? Isn’t this a type of bullying?
Western feminists tend not to comment on issues surrounding the oppression of women in Muslim nations.
However, ministers in Sweden were forced into taking a stand earlier this month after a public confrontation with Iranian activists, who were dismayed that female members of its “feminist” government all agreed to wear veils while visiting Iran.