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    In this Thursday, Nov. 30, 2006 file photo Unidentified women are seen wearing a niqab during a demonstration outside the Dutch parliament against a proposed ban on the burqa, in The Hague, Netherlands. Belgian politicians will vote on April 22, 2010 on whether to ban the burqa and other body and face covering attire. The proposed ban could become law by July and apply to all public places, including streets

    'Veil Under My Feet': Women Protest Against Niqabs, Hijabs With Online Campaign

    © AP Photo / Fred Ernst
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    Although there are few laws specifically forcing women to wear particular clothes, fully covering their bodies, many still have to dress in accordance with the laws of Sharia and extremely conservative traditions as disrespectful clothes and indecent behaviour are outlawed.

    Women apparently from Saudi Arabia, Yemen and other countries have joined forces to protest against niqabs, hijabs and other face veils, many are forced to wear in the religiously conservative countries. Posts with the hashtag in Arabic that could be translated as “veil under my feet”, or #NoHijabDay and #FreeFromHijab are popping up on Twitter, as some sharing pictures of them literally stepping on headscarves or other kinds of covers.

    Some seemingly got creative, posting videos from cars, waving the head scarf in the air.

    ​There were those, inspired to tell their stories of going against conservative rules, school policy or abuse in the community and in the family.

    ​Activists living in Western countries also joined the online resistance and encouraged its participants.

    ​However, many slammed the movement, saying it interferes with personal choice, or perverts the meaning of freedom.

    ​Some came up with fruit analogies.

    ​The limitations on women’s rights have been relaxed in Muslim countries across the Middle East over recent years. Earlier this year Iranian women were permitted to attend a basketball game watching male players play in a historic breakthrough for the country. Iran also allowed women to cheer on their World Cup 2018 national team from the stands and to attend the Asia Champions League final in Tehran in November for the first time since the Iranian Revolution of 1978-1979, which saw the overthrow of the 2,500-year-old Persian monarchy, deposing Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi.

    However, these were specific cases, the restrictions were soon restored, and it is still forbidden for women to attend football matches.  Wearing headscarves, or hijab, in public is also mandatory for women there. So several dozen women who took theirs off in protest this year were accused of public order offences and referred to the state prosecutor's office. According to Al-Arabiya, women showing their hair in public can be jailed for up to two months or fined $25.

    Iran’s regional rival, Saudi Arabia, formally allowed women to drive this summer in the course of a reform programme, introduced by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Separately, it has curbed previously overwhelming religious policing, as well as lifted a 35-year-long ban on national movie theatres. As to clothing rules, this March, the prince said in an interview with the US broadcaster CBS it was up to women to choose what they want to wear as long as it is decent.

    READ MORE: Saudi Arabia May Execute First Woman for Supporting Political Protests

    "The laws are very clear and stipulated in the laws of Sharia (Islamic law): that women wear decent, respectful clothing, like men. This, however, does not particularly specify a black abaya [loose full-length robe] or a black head cover. The decision is entirely left for women to decide what type of decent and respectful attire she chooses to wear", he stated.


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