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Personal is Political: Masih Alinejad, the woman whose hair fuelled the anti-hijab sentiment in Iran

Personal is Political: Masih Alinejad, the woman whose hair fuelled the anti-hijab sentiment in Iran

Journalist Masih Alinejad has always been vocal against Iran’s compulsory hijab law despite not being able to visit the Islamic Republic for over a decade.

It was a picture of her thick, curly hair in the wind that propelled Iranian women to let their hair down years ago.

Even though she is not among these women participating in the anti-hijab protests in Iran, she is doing her bit by making their voices heard through her social media.

The recent protests against Iran’s strict hijab law come in the aftermath of the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who was detained for wearing tight trousers and a loose headscarf (hijab) by Iran’s morality police in Tehran. She fell into a coma and died last week in police custody.

Amini’s death has put pressure on Iran amid widespread protests and global condemnation. At least seven people have been killed since protests broke out in Iran following Amini’s death, reports BBC.

Iranian women are defying the hijab mandate by chopping off their hair and burning their headscarves in public.

Alinejad is using her reach to spread the protest videos and highlight the alleged police brutality against the citizens in Iran.

Who is Iranian-American journalist and activist Masih Alinejad? How did she encourage women to resist compulsory hijab?

ALSO READ: Gasht-e Ershad: Iran’s controversial morality police accused of Mahsa Amini’s death

Let’s take a closer look:

Who is Masih Alinejad?

Born in Ghomikola village in northern Iran’s Mazandaran province in a poor, deeply conservative family, Masih Alinejad was only two at the time of the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

A few years after the revolution, the hijab was made compulsory in Iran.

Alinejad, who has been in exile for over

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