Female TV cartoon characters must wear hijab, Iran's Khamenei decrees

Political activists in Iran condemned the fatwa, calling it 'toxic'.
Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei(AP)
Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei(AP)
Published on Feb 23, 2021 06:23 PM IST
Copy Link
By | Edited by Mallika Soni

Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei issued a fatwa on Monday stating that women in cartoons and animated features must be depicted wearing a hijab, according to the country’s Tasnim news agency. Tasnim reported that Khamenei answered a question posed by the news agency asking if observing compulsory hijab is necessary for characters in animated features.

“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 a hijab,” Khamenei said according to the report.

A fatwa is a declaration or ruling on a point of Islamic law, which is not legally binding but is given by a recognised higher authority.

Read more: Saudi women can join armed forces in latest widening of rights

Political activists in Iran condemned the fatwa, calling it 'toxic'. Iranian journalist and activist Masih Alinejad 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. Even female insects like bees have their hijabs on! Their obsession with the hair of female anything is toxic. These people are in power in Iran.”

Academic Arash Azizi also criticised the decision. “In case you thought the Grand Ayatollah Khamenei wasn't focused on core issues of interest for Iran and Iranians,” Azizi tweeted.

This kind of fatwa is not new in Iran as women in the country have faced persecution for not wearing a hijab before as well. Under Islamic law in force in Iran since the 1979 revolution, women must wear a hijab that covers the head and neck, thus concealing their hair. Violators are publicly admonished, fined or even arrested, often targeted by Iran's 'morality police’, also known as the "Gasht-e Ershad."

Read more: Trans-people welcome the decision for separate toilets, but need gender-neutral toilets

Ultra-conservative figures have also called for the end of foreign films being shown in theatres in Iran about which Khamenei himself has said that programs broadcast from the West led to 'misleading thoughts and factual misrepresentations'.

Iran also has strict censorship laws in place on the country's film industry. Physical interactions between men and women on screen are banned and all scenes deemed immoral or offensive to the regime are often censored.

Close Story

Less time to read?

Try Quickreads

  • Pakistan PM Shehbaz Sharif and PTI leader Imran Khan Niazi.

    Pak will not hold elections before 2023, warns Imran Khan against 'gravedigging'

    Pakistan's Shehbaz Sharif-led government has rejected demands by ousted prime minister Imran Khan and his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf to hold elections immediately. N) said polls would only be held in August 2023 - after the government finishes its term - a report by Pakistan's Express Tribune said quoting sources. He would meet protesters on the Srinagar highway. However, per Pak media outlets, the government will not allow Imran Khan's rally at that location.

  • A man sleeps on his bike as he waits in a line to buy petrol near a fuel station, amid the country's economic crisis, in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

    Sri Lanka hikes fuel prices; petrol at all-time high of 420 rupees per litre

    Crisis-hit Sri Lanka on Tuesday raised the petrol price by 24.3 per cent and diesel by 38.4 per cent, a record hike in fuel prices amidst the country's worst economic crisis due to the shortage of foreign exchange reserves. With the second fuel price hike since April 19, now the most-used Octane 92 petrol would cost 420 rupees (USD 1.17) and diesel 400 rupees (USD 1.11) a litre, an all-time high.

  • Maria Mayashlapak, 82, is a resident of Ukraine's Bakhmut which has been shelled by Russian forces (CREDIT: AFP)

    'Is Russia not big enough...': Ukraine grandma asks Putin after home is bombed

    'God heard me... God is watching over me' - the fervent words of 82-year-old Maria Mayashlapak, who clings to life in Ukraine's Bakhmut afteMaria'ser home was destroyed by Russian artillery fire, forcing her to live among the ruins and in fear of the next - fatal - attack. Entire houses have been wrecked and only burnt wooden posts and piles of mud remain where once there were picturesque village homes.

  • Outgoing Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte sharply criticized Russian leader Vladimir Putin for the killings of innocent civilians in Ukraine, saying while the two of them have been tagged as killers, “I kill criminals, I don’t kill children and the elderly.” 

    'I kill criminals, not kids...': Philippine's Rodrigo Duerte smacks down Putin

    Outgoing Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte sharply criticized Russian leader Vladimir Putin for the killings of innocent civilians in Ukraine, saying while the two of them have been tagged as killers, “I kill criminals, I don't kill children and the elderly.” Duterte, who steps down on June 30 when his turbulent six-year term ends, has presided over a brutal anti-drugs crackdown that has left more than 6,000 mostly petty suspects dead.

  • Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi (REUTERS)

    China hopes UN rights chief's visit will ‘clarify misinformation’

    China's foreign minister told the United Nations' human rights chiefWang Yie hopedMichelle Bachelet'sr landmark visit would help to "clarify misinformation", ahead of her visit to the Xinjiang region. Bachelet is expected to visit the Xinjiang cities of Urumqi and Kashgar on Tuesday and Wednesday as part of a six-day tour -- the first to China by a top UN rights official since 2005.

Story Saved
Saved Articles
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Tuesday, May 24, 2022