Tuesday, October 4, 2022
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Muslim women are taking off their headscarves and cutting their hair on TikTok to protest Iran’s hijab rules following the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini

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  • 22-year-old Mahsa Amini died on Friday after being arrested by Iran’s Islamic morality police.
  • Police detained Amini on suspicion of breaking hijab-wearing rules, reports say. 
  • Muslim women are now cutting their hair and hijabs on TikTok in protest.

Women in Iran are taking off their headscarves and cutting their hair to protest the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini.

Amini died in a Tehran hospital on Friday after being arrested by Iran’s Islamic morality police on Tuesday on suspicion of not correctly wearing a hijab — a head covering traditionally worn by Muslim women and is mandatory in Iran — according to reports. 

Tehran police said Amini was arrested for the purpose of “justification and education” about the hijab, and told her family she died of a “sudden” heart attack. Her family say she had no known heart conditions, and witnesses said they saw police beating her up inside a van, according to BBC News.

On September 18, the day of Amini’s funeral, protests erupted in Iran, with women removing their headscarves and waving them in the air to protest the hijab-wearing rules that led to the arrest of the 22-year-old.

Now, Muslim and Iranian women based all over the world are joining the protests by taking off their headscarves and cutting their hair in protest on TikTok and Instagram

@persianziba Today exactly two years ago I started wearing hijab, today I cut my hair for #mahsaamini , who was an Iranian woman that got unal!ved in Iran because of the mandatory hijab law. I cannot show the video of me cutting my hair out of religious reasons (On my story there is a censored version of the video) so as a symbol of solidarity I made a video cutting my scarf as well in order to spread the message. I am wearing one of our traditional Persian scarfs around me to represent my people as an Iranian woman. I cannot go into detail for my own safety, so please do the research and spread our message. #fy #fyp #foryou #foryoupage #freedom #help #helpus #iran ♬ original sound – em🤍

In one video with 930,000 views, a woman can be seen cutting up her black headscarf with a pair of scissors. The caption under the video read, “Today exactly two years ago I started wearing hijab, today I cut my hair for #mahsaamini.” The user wrote that she did not want to cut her hair on camera for “religious reasons,” but filmed herself cutting the headscarf “to spread the message.” 

“My heart goes out to all my female friends fighting for their basic human rights in Iran,” wrote one TikToker under a video with 430,000 views, where she could be seen snipping her long hair into a shoulder-length bob. 

Some women who don’t identify as Muslim have also been posting tributes to Amini on TikTok, saying they want to “stand with Iranian women.” One TikToker took part in the hair-cutting trend and showed herself standing in front of a mirror with a newly-shaved head after a caption appeared on the clip saying, “Candian women stand with you.” 

Many of these TikTok videos used audio from “Another Love,” a pop song by English singer Tom Odell. The song is also being used on TikTok to share clips filmed at protests in Iran following Amini’s death, according to captions under the videos. 

Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have both called for criminal investigations into Amini’s death. Iranian state-run news agency IRNA reported that President Ebrahim Raisi has asked Iran’s interior ministry to “investigate the cause of the incident with urgency and special attention.”

For more stories like this, check out coverage from Insider’s Digital Culture team here. 



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