From wherever you are reading this post right now, assuming it is from a relatively free society, please imagine the two following extreme scenarios, respectively:
First, your female relative, neighbour, and yourself are being forced on the streets by your police forces to remove a veil, or a hijab, freely chosen to be put on their/your adult head. The latter may be a preference out of spirituality/religiosity, cultural tradition, sense of fashion, or another personal motivator. Would you find the police’s behaviour acceptable?
Second, just like what is happening in Iran right now (https://shorturl.at/efrNV), imagine the opposite of the first scenario: your country’s authorities are reviving “a morality police” to force your daughter, mother, neighbour, and yourself to be covered by an unwanted hijab (or chador in Afghanistan)? How would you feel about it? Would it be fair or oppressive? Does it honour women or is it insulting (i.e., to their intelligence and free will)?
Obviously, for Bambi, both scenarios are problematic because they involve coercion. In other terms, they do not respect women’s choice about what to wear in their “own” daily life. Indeed, no woman is like another; same for men. Each is unique: one may be into the hijab. Another woman may not, even if both may be Muslim and observant. Of note, around the world, most observant Muslim women do not wear a hijab. Nevertheless, many do so and this is their business. Ours is to respect them, regardless of their outfit. In other terms, women must be as free as men to wake up in the morning and decide to wear what they wish. Only them know what is best for them. Surely not men working for a government, a religious order, or for a so-called “morality police“, which uses threats and force to impose a code dress, along with other restrictions.
Remarkably, despite a highly authoritarian regime, Iranian women and men are very courageous in fighting for their liberty and equality. Bambi has many older posts supporting their protests for this basic freedom. The most recent ones are shown further below. A a result, they have been jailed and even put in solitary confinement, like the talented rapper, Mr. Toomaj Salehi (https://shorturl.at/bfMWZ). Of note, he recently received a six-year prison sentence over the protests (https://shorturl.at/bfMWZ). Same for actor Mohammad Sadegh, it seems (https://shorturl.at/kotU2), and for Dr. Sadegh Zibakalam (https://shorturl.at/syCH1) who will appeal against his prison sentence. Tragically, other men who publicly supported their fellow women were executed (https://shorturl.at/aHMTV). Can you imagine? May their memory be eternal.
To end this post with music, two songs come to Bambi’s mind: the meaningful Bella Ciao, uniquely performed by Ms. Talia Lahoud, and Ms. Nana Mouskouri’s powerful “Song For Liberty“. As a reminder, the latter is the English translation of the French version “Je chante avec toi Liberté” (written by Mr. Pierre Delancé and Mr. Claude Lemesle; arranged by Mr. Alain Goraguer). In addition to French and English, this song was recorded in German, Portuguese, and Spanish. If she may, with much respect and affection, Bambi would like to dedicate both musical pieces to the people of Iran.