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Iran’s Former Shah Hails Anti-Hijab Protests

2 min read
Anti-hijab Protest

Anti-hijab Protest

The late shah’s son praised Iran’s widespread demonstrations as a historic revolution by women and asked other nations to exert more pressure on the country’s clerical leadership. Reza Pahlavi, whose father was overthrown in the Islamic Revolution of 1979, asked for more work to be done in order to prepare for a secular and democratic Iranian regime in the future.

According to Pahlavi, who is currently living in exile in the Washington, D.C., region, “it is truly in modern times the first revolution for the women, by the women — with the support of the Iranian men, sons, brothers, and dads.” It’s reached the point where we’ve had enough, or basta as the Spaniards would say. Several people were killed during demonstrations in major cities when Mahsa Amini, 22, died while being held by Iran.

“I think most Iranian women when they look at the freedoms that women in the free world experience and exercise, are asking for the very same rights for themselves,” he said. His grandfather, Reza Shah, banned all Islamic veils in 1936 as part of a Westernization drive inspired by neighboring Turkey.

The last shah, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, let the veil be a choice — which ended when the Islamic republic imposed requirements for women’s “modesty” in public. Pahlavi, the father of three daughters, said that Iranian society has come a long way from the days of “male chauvinism” and that women’s choices should be respected. “Women may decide to wear or not wear the veil. But it ought to be a choice, a free choice, not imposed for ideological or religious reasons,” he said.

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