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This cartoon by the hard-line Fars news agency, which is a clear insult to those Iranian women who don't respect the Islamic hijab fully and are often described by authorities as "badly veiled," is making the rounds on social media.

The cartoon suggests that women who cover their hair and body fully are perhaps as smart as Albert Einstein, while those who don't completely observe the obligatory Islamic dress code are brainless.

The cartoon is a new low in propaganda efforts to force Iranian women to respect the hijab, which became compulsory after the 1979 revolution and the creation of an Islamic republic.

Most government-supported posters and campaigns usually suggest that the hijab protects women, and women should wear it for their own good. Fars has gone a step further by suggesting that the hijab makes women brainy.

Despite these efforts and the use of force, harassments, arrests, threats and other measures over the past 32 years, the Iranian authorities have failed in their attempt to force women to appear in public the way they want them to.

-- Golnaz Esfandiari

About This Blog

Persian Letters is a blog that offers a window into Iranian politics and society. Written primarily by Golnaz Esfandiari, Persian Letters brings you under-reported stories, insight and analysis, as well as guest Iranian bloggers -- from clerics, anarchists, feminists, Basij members, to bus drivers.

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