"I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life"

Father God, thank you for the love of the truth you have given me. Please bless me with the wisdom, knowledge and discernment needed to always present the truth in an attitude of grace and love. Use this blog and Northwoods Ministries for your glory. Help us all to read and to study Your Word without preconceived notions, but rather, let scripture interpret scripture in the presence of the Holy Spirit. All praise to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

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Monday, May 12, 2014

Women in Iran are Taking Off the Hijab - Stealthy Freedom

Women across Iran are posting photos of themselves without the hijab to a dedicated Facebook page called "My Stealthy Freedom".

The Facebook page was set up just over a week ago, and already has 130,000 "likes". Almost all are from people in Iran, both men and women.
So far the page has around 150 photos. They show women on the beach, on the street, in the countryside, alone, with friends or their partners - but crucially - all without the headscarf. Most include a few words, for example: "I loathe the hijab. I too like the feel of the sun and the wind on my hair. Is this a big sin?"

Ever since the Islamic Revolution 35 years ago, it has been illegal for a woman to leave the house without wearing a headscarf. The punishment ranges from a fine to imprisonment. "My hair was like a hostage to the government," says Masih Alinejad, an Iranian political journalist who lives in the UK and who set up the Facebook page. "The government still has a lot of hostages," she adds.
A woman on the beach - one of the images of the "My Stealthy Freedom" Facebook page
Alinejad got the idea after she posted some photos of herself without the hijab to her own Facebook page. The images were liked thousands of times. So many women began to send her their own pictures that she decided to set up a dedicated page. Though she's well-known for being critical of the government in Iran, she insists the page is not political. "These are not women activists, but just ordinary women talking from their hearts."

"My problem is not having to wear the headscarf. My problem is not having a choice," writes one woman on the Facebook page. "Stealthy freedom means, just for a few seconds, I will be what I want to be," writes another.

This, of course, flies in the face of comments by Boko Haram chief Abubakar Shekau, who forced more than 100 Christian girls to 'convert' to Islam. Shekau says that he 'liberated' them, then showed them dressed in long black gowns with hijabs in the hot sun of sub-Saharan Africa. 
A woman without the hijab looks down to the street -
one of the images of the "My Stealthy Freedom" Facebook page 
The hijab is a controversial issue in Iran. A recent billboard campaign reminding women to cover themselves up, was mocked on social media for comparing women to chocolates in a wrapper. But many support the wearing of the hijab, arguing it's an important part of Islamic law - there was a demonstration in Tehran last week, with protesters calling for a more strict implementation of the rules. Apparently, they want to 'liberate' more women!