Hindustan Times, New Delhi |hindustantimes.com | Edited by Karan Manral
Iranian authorities have arrested a woman for “insulting the Islamic hijab”, after a video of her cycling without a veil went viral on social media, news agency Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported.
“A person who recently violated norms and insulted the Islamic veil in this region has been arrested,” the official Islamic Republic of Iran (IRNA) news agency quoted Najafabad Governor Mojatabai Raei as saying.
Raei further stated that the woman’s “motive” for committing the action is under investigation. However, he did not reveal his identity. “Residents of this city are holding a protest rally today after the unprecedented violation of standards,” the governor added.
The incident happened in the city of Najafabad. In the video, which was shot with a cell phone, the woman is seen riding a bicycle in front of a mosque. She can also be seen raising her right hand in the air several times.
IRNA further said that the video of the woman, showing her ‘cycling without a veil in the main square’ and ‘in front of a large mosque’, sparked protests from residents and clerics in Najafabad.
Under Iranian Islamic law, in effect since the 1979 revolution, women must wear a hijab that covers their head and neck and conceals their hair.
However, in recent times, Iranian women have challenged this decree by allowing their veils to reveal more hair, especially in the capital Tehran and other major cities.