Last month we featured the “Stealthy Freedom” campaign, a Facebook page in which Iranian women celebrated their lives as they took off the mandatory hijabs covering their heads.
Now the not-so-happy sequel to the story….
As Iran’s hardliners insist that the hijab must be retained to protect women from the West, authorities have launched a smear campaign against the creator of “Stealthy Freedom”, exiled journalist Masih Alinejad.
State broadcaster IRIB “reported” that Alinejad, who had to flee Iran after the disputed 2009 Presidential election, was assaulted, stripped naked, and gang-raped in London in the presence of her son.
The implication was that the journalist, called a “nexus of sedition” who had been banned from Parliament for “ethical corruption”, had paid the price for not covering her head and telling other women to free themselves. The broadcast added that Alinejad was “under the influence of heavy drugs“.
IRIB said London’s Metropolitan Police and the BBC had tried to quash the story, but that it spread on social media sites.
Commentator Vahid Yaminpour piled on the condemnation, “Masih Alinejad is a whore, and not a heretic as some people claim her to be….She’s just trying to compensate her psychological — and probably financial — needs by recruiting young women and sharing her notoriety with younger women who are still not prostitutes.”
Alinejad responded on Facebook that she was not attacked and is in good health, posting a YouTube video of herself singing in a London underground station.
She added that, having hoped that conditions inside Iran would improve after President Rouhani’s election and that she could return from exile, she now sees that the Islamic Republic will not change soon.