Female cartoon character on TV must be depicted wearing a hijab: Iran’s supreme leader

Political activists condemn ‘fatwa’ issued by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, call it ‘toxic’

Tehran: 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.

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

“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,” IranWire quoted Khamenei as saying.

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.”

Since Iran’s Islamic Revolution 40 years ago, women have been forced to cover their hair for the sake of modesty. Violators are publicly admonished, fined or arrested. They are also harassed and targeted by Iran’s “morality police,” also known as the “Gasht-e Ershad.”

Iranian women defying the decree set by the authorities face severe repercussions in the form of imprisonments and sanctions.

However, a large number of women in Iran have been rising to protest against the hardcore laws set for them. Laws have been relaxed barely for women in Iran attributed to the growing agitation by them.

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