The recent Iranian protests are about a whole array of issues, including the hijab, the head covering which Iranian women have been forced to wear for decades.

Some dismiss the debate on hijab, suggesting it is a lot of fuss about a mere piece of cloth. They are being evasive.

The hijab is now established as a political tool used by Islamists to restrict freedom for women. They are generally deprived of equality under the law because the hijab is usually accompanied by other oppressive prescriptions for women. It means women cannot make their own decisions.

It is a symbol of oppression, amply demonstrated in Iran's draconian laws imposed after the Islamic revolution of Ayatollah Khomeini in 1979.

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