A precedent in the hijab protest: an enclave without hijab and without radical Islam in a neighborhood in a central city in Iran

עיתון בין אויבים

A newspaper among enemies

Photos that come from the city of Shiraz and are published on an Iranian page on a social network, express a new reality that the hijab protest has brought to it: a neighborhood in the city that is an enclave where women walk without a hijab with full awareness; At least during the filming, no police or army came to the neighborhood. According to the surroundings, it seems that this is indeed a central Iranian city, and it is likely that the photos are indeed from the city of Shiraz. The images attached here are screenshots of a short video that describes the phenomenon on the said page: In a neighborhood in Shiraz, women are seen walking down the street without a hijab, just like in any free western street, and they receive sympathetic male attention; In some of the photographs, an Iranian man presents a flower to the women walking down the street without a hijab, and as described on the page, he tells them that he thanks them for their beauty adding to the beauty of the neighborhood.

To find out if the reality depicted in the photos does express a new phenomenon that is occurring in Shiraz, and perhaps even in other major cities in Iran, it is necessary to refer to a number of recent events. The most important of them is the meeting of the Iranian cabinet dedicated to the hijab riots last week, a meeting we reported here in the previous issue. The cabinet meeting clarifies how far the hijab protest has gone, and how difficult it is for the regime to extinguish it, at least until the time of the cabinet convening. Therefore, a new reality as mentioned in the article, is reasonable and possible. Another event that clarifies that the said enclave in Shiraz may indeed exist and is not an invention of the organizers of the protests, is the comment of a senior commander in the Iranian army, quoted this week in YNET, "The rioters will have no place in the country if Khamenei gives the order for it." The quote makes it clear that the leader of Iran has not decided on a comprehensive military response to the riots, so it is possible that the reality of enclaves without hijab and without Iranian security forces is possible. The warning last week by the commander of the Revolutionary Guards to the demonstrators not to go out into the streets again, also makes it clear that they are still coming out in such high numbers that they are causing a shock in the Iranian ruling system. This expression also enables a new reality of enclaves without hijab and without extreme Islam in the central cities of Iran, as described on the said page.