An Iranian actress has stirred up controversy in her strictly Islamic home country after posting images of herself on social media — without the head covering that is compulsory for women.
Sadaf Taherian posted the photos on Facebook and Instagram to protest the law on women covering their hair in public, imposed after the 1979 Islamic revolution in the once largely secular country. The images posted on Facebook show Taherian in a black sleeveless tank top and training pants, with her tied-back hair fully exposed.
Following the publication of the images, the Iranian government denounced Taherian as “immoral” and revoked her license to work, the Independent newspaper reported this week.
Although Iran argues that women who do not wear the hijab could be exposed to violent attacks by men who are not in control of their urges, Taherian says that she was harassed even while covering her hair.
“I was nervous and worried about how people would react to my photos,” Taherian told Voice Of America’s Persian service. “Remembering my past gave me the confidence to post these photos. I recall visiting many film companies to sign a contract, but I would hear many inappropriate comments about my physical appearance.”
She told the channel that she “did not expect this from the people of Iran, from my own culture – to hear so many insults… I can only feel sorry for their reaction and I have nothing else to say. I want to live in a place and live the way that makes me happy.”
Taherian is defiant in the face of criticism for her stance, and insists she has no regrets, the Independent said. She now hopes to restart her acting career in Dubai, according to the Daily Mail.