The Hijab Controversy in Modern Iran

The hejab has been a major feature of politics in Iran ever since serious contact with Western powers began in the 19th century. Since then, female dress, and in particular head covering has became something of a political football. The hejab has become symbolic of the Islamicity in society. In this presentation I shall focus specifically on the views of two Iranian clerics, Ayatollah Motahhari and Ahmad Qabel, whose views on the hejab are diametrically opposed, but who argue from a position of “rationality”. These arguments assume greater importance given the current campaign for unveiling in Iran. The presentation is also of interest for what the discussion contributes about the idea of shari’a.


Dr. Lloyd Ridgeon (University of Glasgow)