This picture of actress Sadaf Taherian would seem like most any such photo appearing on social media (beyond the fact that she is obviously especially striking). However, the government in Iran immediately spotted something missing. That’s right, a veil or hijab. As a result, Taherian has fled to the United Arab Emirates to avoid an arrest. In addition, leading actress Chekame Chaman-Mah has fled Iran after committing the offense of defending the right of an actress to post an unveiled image. Iranian officials have declared both women to be in violation of Islamic morality and laws.
The Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance spokesman, Hossein Noushabadi, captured perfectly the utter insanity of Sharia-based governments like Iran and Saudi Arabia. Noushabadi proclaimed:
“As far as this ministry is concerned, these two individuals are no longer considered to be artists any more and do not have any right to act . . . Both of them have to apologize to the Iranian people and publicly announce that the reason behind publishing their photos on social media is that they suffer from lack of esteem and have psychological and personal complexes.”
Noushabadi added that “they would certainly be looked upon as offenders on their return to the country.”
There is obviously many modern women in Iran, Saudi Arabia, and other Islamic countries struggling to gain basic rights despite the harsh Sharia laws and values governing every aspect of life. Just as female athletes have been forced to wear veils and yield to the will of their husbands, these actresses face absurd limitations in pursuing their profession with standard head shots. It is truly pathological to see officials like Noushabadi speaking of “psychological and personal complexes” in women exercising the most basic forms of expression. Iran’s and Saudi Arabia’s adherence of this medieval Sharia law system often seems like a collective form of dysfunctional mental illness as officials flog, crucify, or amputate their way through their populations.
My only hope is that years from now Iranian girls may read about these women who refused to accept these absurd limitations. In the meantime, however, two of these actresses are in flight to avoid arrest for a social media head shot.