Female Cartoon And Anime Characters On Iranian TV Must Wear A Hijab, Ruled By Supreme Leader Ayatollah
The entire idea of appointing officials as ministers of a country, as I would assume, is to make sure that the country runs smoothly and all the pressing matters at hand are carefully tended to by a team of people who are experts in their own fields and at dealing with a crisis. Now, while the definition of a crisis for me includes matters of national security, economy or even the development, for Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei of Iran what is more important is to ensure that cartoon characters wear a hijab. In a recent ruling, Khamenei has observed the importance of female cartoons and anime on Iranian television to wear a hijab. He has stated that while it is not necessary for them to cover their hair, they are ‘required’ to cover themselves up with a hijab.
A move that has been termed ‘toxic’ by several political activists in Iran, who argue that Khamenei as well as those in power are ‘obsessed with the hair of female anything’, the ruling is not being well received and we can only wonder why. While the country strictly practices Shi’i Islam, under which women must cover their faces with a hijab, the fact that officials would now introduce the practice to children’s cartoons is perhaps going too far.
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Khamenei was questioned whether the move was really necessary to be incorporated in cartoons, to which he responded, “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 hijab.” He also insinuated that he fears that young Iranian girls would grow up to defy the rule if it wasn’t implied early on in their life.
It's interesting to see how people of Pakistan, middle east and western countries have never appreciate the scientific, educational and technical achievements of Iran (which is being sanctioned by the world) but will make a 'show' of minor things like hijab of cartoon characters. pic.twitter.com/t8FT7mNbo7
— Taufeeq Mustafa 🇵🇰 (@pakicommie) February 25, 2021
This simple act of removing your hijab and taking a video can make you a “criminal” in Iran. #SabaKordafshari was sentenced to 24 years prison for #WalkingUnveiled and being voice of the voiceless. Now it’s our turn to be her voice.#WhiteWednesdays pic.twitter.com/FTKQLCeqBn
— Masih Alinejad 🏳️ (@AlinejadMasih) August 29, 2019
Meanwhile, Iranian journalist and activist Masih Alinejad also stood against the decision as he 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.” He also made statements like, “Even female insects like bees have their hijabs on!”
Academic Arash Azizi also criticised the decision, as he tweeted, “In case you thought the Grand Ayatollah Khamenei wasn’t focused on core issues of interest for Iran and Iranians.” Others also chimed in with their views on this regressive ruling, as Heba Yosry, a teacher from nearby Cairo, Egypt wrote, “The absurdity of this is beyond my comprehension. Is the fear that girls will grow up and not wear hijab? Or that cartoon characters might be seductive to some adults? Is this what Islam has become?”
Iran, known for its super conservative and regressive ways of living, imposing several restrictions on the women isn’t new at introducing such laws. In fact, the rule for women to sport a hijab is so strict that failing to do so often leads to punishment or conviction.