History bears witness to the innumerable times that religion has been used to oppress women. Whether it is to control their sexuality, their right to choose, or even to prohibit their basic freedom…. religion has always dominated over women’s basic human rights. And this time, it has managed to strike a teenager in Iran, who made the colossal mistake of dancing in her home!
Maedeh Hojabri, a 19-year-old girl, was arrested in Tehran, Iran, for posting videos on Instagram. What kind of videos, you ask? Completely innocent videos of herself dancing in her own bedroom!
— Negar (@NegarMortazavi) July 8, 2018
Hojabri has some 600k followers on Instagram, where she posts videos of herself dancing to popular English and Iranian songs. There is no obscenity of any kind. Except for the lack of the mandatory headscarf that Islamic women must sport at all times.
Hojabri is amongst several users who have been arrested for posting such videos on their accounts. However, the names of the other detainees have not been revealed.
According to News 18, Hojabri and the other detainees appeared on television and were made to give a forced confession of their ‘crimes’ in the presence of cops and other authorities.
A young woman with a blurred face was made to say,
“It wasn’t for attracting attention. I had some followers and these videos were for them. I did not have any intention to encourage others doing the same … I didn’t work with a team, I received no training. I only do gymnastics.”
The arrest of Hojabri and others has sparked an outrage in Iran as well as on social media across the world, with people expressing their utter disbelief over such a blatant violation of human rights.
Her name is Maeade Mahi. Recently she got arrested just because of uploading her dancing videos on her Instagram. If you are a woman in Iran and you dance or sing or show your hair then you are a criminal. If you want to enjoy your true self, you have to brake the laws every day. pic.twitter.com/0eIq5ld5x6
— Masih Alinejad 🏳️ (@AlinejadMasih) July 7, 2018
Disgusting guys.Singing&Dancing are beautiful art of life,it express our feelings,mood. It is a good exercise of throat&body.& ban this arts are supremacy of cruelity.
Indeed It is Barbaric which restrict the Natural right,freedom,arts etc.
MuslimWomen are in miserable situation.
— Adv. Ambrish Srivastava (@Ambrish03797026) July 8, 2018
Not everyone’s as lucky….
I #wish I could #dance like #MaeadeMahi! Luckily I have the #HumanRights & #freedom to do so if I choose in #Australia. It's a sad day that #women are still unable to #express themselves in other countries. #EqualityForAll #feminist #WomenEmpowerment #Dancing #freedom #sempi https://t.co/OAoxWxEbkR
— Alyse Price-Tobler (@AlyseTobler) July 9, 2018
When you put the question like that, you realise what an absolutely normal act was taken and criminalised!
She really was arrested for dancing at her home? 😐 https://t.co/f7cS8MKB27
— Love4MA (@Sidiani2) July 9, 2018
Horrendous display of religious intolerance!
Arresting a 19-year-old girl for dancing & uploading her videos on Instagram and then forcing her to confess her "crime" on TV. Yet another disgraceful act by #Iran's judiciary & every single individual involved. A horrendous display of intolerance. For shame. #MaedehHojabri pic.twitter.com/XhJArMBCUc
— Reza H. Akbari (@rezahakbari) July 7, 2018
And angry is what we should be!
This makes me so fucking angry!!! https://t.co/51cPg5UklY
— Taneshh (@Taneshh10) July 8, 2018
Leaving behind a stark question that we are afraid to answer….
— Reihane Taravati (@reihanetaravati) July 8, 2018
And yet, all it takes is one tiny spark of defiance to ignite a full-blown rebellion! Women in Iran managed to find a unique way to protest against Hojabri’s arrest and call for her freedom…. By uploading dancing videos of their own!
I dance in a public park in Tehran to support Maedeh the 19 year old girl who got arrested for dancing.
در پارک هنرمندان بدونحجاب اجباری رقصیدم ولی نوازنده نگران اینکه بساطش جمع بشه با عذرخواهی آهنگ رو قطع کرد.
برای حمایت از #مائده_هژبری بیا #برقص_تا_برقصیم pic.twitter.com/8JtGU4QOzI
— Masih Alinejad 🏳️ (@AlinejadMasih) July 7, 2018
From dancing in public parks to dancing in their own homes, the women of Iran are standing up for not just Hojabri’s but their own right to do whatever they want in their homes!
— Ashraf Sherjan (@ASJBaloch) July 8, 2018
میرقصم تا ببیند و بدانند با گرفتن نوجوانها و مائده ها نمیتوانند شادی و امید را از ما بگیرند و ما امید به دیدن ایرانی آزاد،شاد و با آینده روشن داریم.#مائده_هژبری #برقص_تا_برقصیم #westandtogether#westandwithpahlavi
ریتوییت لطفا تا همه ببینند🙏 pic.twitter.com/oGsWPSETGL
— داش مَموشی (@dashmamush2014) July 8, 2018
What an apt way to show solidarity towards the cause!
It is indeed a sad reality that such arrests are happening, while actual criminals who’ve committed horrific crimes against women and children are roaming free in the streets. Here’s hoping the law is enforced where it ought to be, and not on harmless teenagers dancing in their bedrooms.