South Asia and Beyond

‘Animated Characters Should Wear Hijab’

Women cartoon characters need to cover up according to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. According to an Iranian news agency report, although wearing hijab in such a hypothetical situation is not required per se, observing hijab in animation is required due to the consequences of not wearing a hijab.”

The comments made by the Supreme Leader would be seen in the form of a fatwa and hence not legally binding. But it has stirred up anger in Iran where already some women have been campaigning to have the compulsory wearing of the hijab removed. Morality police such as the “Gasht-e Ershad” are to admonish and fine women for not covering their hair and in other cases women working in the public sphere are made to wear a black hood known as a maghnaeh. If they do not do so they can not only be fined but also face the prospect of having their businesses shut down.

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Responding to the fatwa, Iranian journalist and activist Masih Alinejad wrote on Twitter: “This isn’t a joke! The Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran has announced women even in animations should wear hijab. Even female insects like bees have their hijabs on! Their obsession with the hair of women is toxic. These people are in power in Iran.”