Tehran: Amid ongoing anti-hijab protests in Iran, a Muslim cleric in the US recently likened the protests in Iran to "protesting for the right to walk around nude in Texas".
In a viral video, Yasir Qadhi, a prominent Muslim cleric and Islamic apologist in the US, explained that to oppose the hijab law in Iran is "tantamount to opposing public indecency laws in the good old US," according to reports.
"In the last two weeks, I have been inundated with dozens of emails with one particular focus or theme... regarding the enforcement of the hijab in a particular country, and apparently, it caused the death of somebody and whatnot," Qadhi said in the video posted on The East Plano Islamic Center's YouTube channel, EPIC Masjid, which has around 300,000 subscribers.
In the video, Qadhi said that he received a question from one of his followers, "Is it true that our religion forces the women to wear the hijab? Can an Islamic government have this right? Shouldn't worship be done freely?"
In reply, Qadhi warned about getting involved in hypothetical issues that are far beyond our own responsibility. "I am not responsible for something happening five thousand miles away," he noted.
Later on, he said, "Even in the West, there are laws against indecency, and there are moral prescriptions about what one can and should and must wear."
He added, "If you show certain parts of the body, and if you show certain organs of your body, you shall be fined, and if you continue to do so, you shall go to jail. Now, the issue therefore is not over, Can the state control what you can or cannot show. The issue is, How much can you show? So some Middle Eastern countries might have a lot more. And, uh, here in America, it is a lot less. But the notion of the state telling you a minimal amount that you can wear, that is pretty much universal."
Protests in Iran
Protesters in Iran remained defiant in the fourth week of a movement against the Islamic republic despite a crackdown including the use of tear gas in Tehran.
The unrest erupted over three weeks ago over the death of Mahsa Amini, 22, an Iranian woman of Kurdish origin who died in hospital following her arrest by the notorious Tehran morality police who enforce the strict dress rules on women including compulsory headscarf.
Activists say she was beaten in custody, which is not confirmed by the authorities in Iran, who have ordered an investigation, and where a the medical report released blamed a pre-existing condition.
Outrage over her death sparked protests which have channeled anger among some Iranian women over the compulsory headscarf but have also seen repeated slogans against the Islamic system created by late revolutionary leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini after the ousting of the shah in 1979.
(With inputs from agencies)