In certain Islamic denominations, the hijab is seen as an expression of religious modesty. Some Western countries see the head scarf and covering as a form of misogynistic theocratic oppression. Iranian women face 10 years in prison for removing the hijab. It’s utility is a matter of debate and controversy.

However, only in a few countries, like Iran and Afghanistan, you can be sentenced, beaten, whipped, publicly humiliated and thrown into prison for or not wearing it. US-based Iranian-American activist Masih Alinejad fled Iran after the 2009 upheaval and later launched the innovative White Wednesdays campaign to fight Iran’s compulsory headscarf law. Masih discusses her personal struggle for liberty on the Investigative Journal. Most recently, the Iranian intelligence detained three of her family members in an attempt to silence her.

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