Iran: Upheaval over UK diplomat who denies wearing compulsory headscarf

The outlook of Islam upon women: An Iranian woman who files for asylum in Switzerland when she is discovered playing soccer with men without wearing a hijab.

Be it inside or outside the country, be it inside or outside a foreign country, Islam knows no bounds to who can follow its rules. That is, everyone must follow them, or else.

A new fatwa by Egyp’s al-Azhar University says [quoting Egypt Independent] “that it is compulsory for women in Islam to wear the veil, while those who deny this are ‘extremist’ and ‘abnormal.’”

Forget Radical Islam — challenging Islam has become radical.

The Independent, December 12, 2017.

The UK’s top diplomat has caused a stir on a recent trip to Tehran after it appeared the Iranian Foreign Minister had told her to put a headscarf on.

Karen Pierce, the UK’s permanent representative to the UN, accompanied foreign secretary Boris Johnson as part of a delegation to Iran on Sunday widely understood to be aimed at freeing dual national Nazanin Zaghari-Radcliffe from an Iranian jail.

In video of the high level bilateral talks Ms Pierce is seen arriving for a meeting with foreign minister Javid Zarif with a scarf around her shoulders rather than over her head.

Mr Zarif greets the other members of the British party with a handshake, but instead of reaching for Ms Pierce’s hand instead points towards the ceiling with both hands, a gesture state news reported as the diplomat telling the visiting dignitary to pull the scarf up over her hair.

Ms Pierce is also photographed in talks without wearing the scarf on her head. In what appears to be a different meeting, she is wearing a different, orange headscarf.

State-run Fars News and Tasnim News Agencies both labelled her appearance “inappropriate”, unleashing a storm of comments from Iranians with opinions on both sides of the argument on social media.

“I was bombarded with comments from ordinary people who was shocked that how humiliating that a high representative of Iran [was] acting like the morality police,” Mahsi Alinejad, founder of anti-hijab movement My Stealthy Freedom, told The Independent.

“One of the women wrote to me that Zarif’s humiliating gesture is familiar to millions of Iranian women who are told every day to improve their [appearance], sometimes with fake smiles, sometimes using violence,” the exiled activist added.

The hjiab has been compulsory in Iran since the Islamic Revolution of 1979. Women face significant cultural and legal discrimination in the country.

In recent years, women’s rights activists have begun to rebel against the religious authorities’ strict dress and morality codes.

“Finally, a western female politicians stood [up] for her dignity and rejected the compulsory hijab at the meeting with Islamic Republic officials,” Ms Alinejad said from New York.

A Foreign Office spokesperson told The Independent the government had no comment on the matter…..