Woman without hiajb
A woman is taking off her veil in protest against the forced used of hijab in Iran

The women of Iran have taken to Facebook to show their support for a protest against the forced use of hijab, a veil that covers the head and chest.

A Facebook page Stealthy Freedoms of Iranian Women has attracted over 220,000 likes since being set up at start of May by London-based Iranian journalist Masih Alinejad. It features dozens of pictures of women depicted without veils on their heads.

Regarding the implications of an unveiling protest, IBTimes UK has spoken with political activist Maryam Namazie about women's freedom under the strict regime of Hassan Rouhani.

"I am all for it [the page]," said Namazie, who is spokesperson for One Law for All Campaign against Sharia Law in Britain and the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain. "The very act of improper veiling or unveiling is a key challenge to the regime.

"Unveiled women in Iran means the end of the Islamic state there, so its consequences are great."

The activist, who has also launched the campaign Nude Photo Revolutionaries Calendar against the forced use of the burqa, explained that the hijab is a key symbol of the crackdown carried out by the Iranian regime.

"One of the first acts of this regime was to impose compulsory veiling and suppress a huge protest on 8 March 1979 to mark International Women's Day.

"The veil - like many other medieval rules - has been imposed by sheer force, including with morality police harassing women and girls, fines and even imprisonment."

According to Namazie, protests are becoming more frequent in Iran, where people are voicing their dissent against the harsh regime which imposes laws restricting basic freedoms.

"This is something that has been going on for a very long time. [The Facebook page] is yet another example of women in Iran transgressing Islamic norms by "improper" veiling and unveiling.

"What's been clear to those of us involved in Iranian politics is that the Islamic regime of Iran is antithetical to the lives of women and men of the 21<sup>st century.

"This, however, has not been able to stop the widespread challenge by women in particular."