Masks / Niqabs Are Not Everyday Public Clothing

Masks / Niqabs Are Not Everyday Public Clothing
by Azadeh Azad

Masks (niqabs in Arabic) have occasional uses. From ceremonial masks to surgical masks to preventive masks, etc.

Masks are not a piece of clothing and cannot be regularly worn at public places and assemblies. Covering one’s identity could jeopardize other people’s security. Most importantly, covering one’s face and hands is not decreed in Koran /Islam. It is made up by some zealous Islamists and represents Islamic fundamentalism.


more from Azadeh Azad

Dear Azadeh

by comments on

Thank you for information and the blog.  I like the fact that you are persistent and usually are coming with strong words.  However, I remember once you were talking about depressed wife of someone, which was okay to make them quiet, but it showed too much interest to that individual :)  And, how well you remembered his previous blogs:)

OK.  I am becoming serious now.  That's true that we have to look at the forest, but there are some interestings trees as well.  Do you think all sluty women with nasty hejab in the Iranian government are opressed in their family and the society?  They are certainly dominant and abusive to all males and females.


Dear Azadeh,

by Bavafa on

Thanks for the specific reply, l don't think you need my assurance that you are not the only one subject to such misrepresentation and/or abuse by the wise guys. Likewise, the "wise guys" are not, unfortunately, only of the male gender.

I believe such behavior, that is that we can not have a civil discussion while we disagree on subjects and ideas, is an indication that our society has lots of work ahead of itself before we can truly bring reform and perhaps democracy to our nation, Iran.

Thanks again for the civil disagreement and reply.


Azadeh Azad

For Mehrdad

by Azadeh Azad on

Dear Merhrdad,

At the end of your last comment you thanked me for our civil discussion. I’d like to say you are welcome and add that I am civil with people who are civil with me. When an IC member who  feels self-conscious and targeted by a general comment of mine and then puts me down in a subtle or gross way, I denounce him as the arrogant and phony a**  that he is. I can give you the example of one specific guy on this site who, by pretending to have misunderstood me, began both lecturing and attacking me. When I kindly reminded him that he was mistaken, not only he never apologized, to this day he misrepresents me whenever he finds an opportunity. These IC members consider themselves “wise guy” and sly (zerang) and don’t realize that it is precisely the slyness (zerangi) of the Iranian populace, so valued over insight and intelligence, that has led us, Iranian nation, to the state of affairs where we find ourselves today. I think the foundation of the Iranian appreciation of slyness is their bad-faith and their lack of trust in the nature of human beings deeply rooted in our history and our popular and everyday culture.

Thanks for reading,



Azadeh Azad

Thank you, all

by Azadeh Azad on

 Thank you “comments”, Persian westender, Mehrdad, Rea, Raoul, Anahid, Shemirani, and Azarin for your comments. 

I’d like to add here that the social and historical context must be essential parts of any deliberation and analysis. If there were no Islamic Fundamentalism in today’s world, I would totally agree with women wearing niqab anywhere and anytime. However, a niqab comes with a whole totalitarian and anti-woman ideology and way of life that intend to take over every society in the world, using both violence (a la Ben Laden) and democratic concepts with which they totally disagree. Just watch the link Raoul has provided. MURDERING A WOMAN because she has made A PERSONAL CHOICE is the ideology behind Hijab and Niqab. It is utterly naïve to fall into trap laid by Islamic Fundamentalists who are in theory and in practice against democracy, freedom of choice and women’s rights. These fundamentalists intend to use and abuse the enlightenment concepts to take every democratic society back to the Dark Ages. Please look at the forest, not the tree.




Papa don't preach...

by comments on

Islamic masks are symbol of Islam as those individuals' personal belief. If it was not a personal belief they were not that crazy to carry a burden with them.  All religious books are so vague and unclear that everybody could interpret it based on their needs/cultures/etc.

Why does it matter if it's occasional or frequent?  All matters that it happens at a certain point at a time in public.  Mask is mask.  What about preventing Halloween ceremony from happening?  Or all those safety clothing? If a religion is not allowed to preach, they will have to prevent all religions from preaching in public and staying at home.  What about if to prevent a normal scarf because one’s hair and head anatomy could tell something about an individual? 

I totally agree as long as it becomes general and not just for muslim, which all happened after Sep. 11th.   

persian westender

Thank you Azadeh for explaining

by persian westender on

The right to choose is limitless unless it harms others and jeopardizes other’s well-being (there might be more conditions to that). That’s why I asked how such clothing can risk other’s lives. But by the example which you’ve brought up, Hijab has more potential for act of terrorism that the neghab itself ...and I don’t know if there is any law for banning it.

Disclaimer:  I am not in favour of neghab, hejab, any dress code for Muslims or anything related to religions. I have to keep mentioning it because people seem to be very prone to stereotyping others...     



Dear Azadeh: I look @ this purely with a logical point of view

by Bavafa on

I look at this purely with a logical point of view and only that if we allow stripping one's right in a subjective way, then we can find ourselves a the receiving end of this subjective ness.

While I admit I don't know the specifics of this law and its detailed implementation, I argue that all those issues you brought up, could have been addressed in the law in such ways that would not taking a woman's right to choose.

The law could have been written in such way that any time any one's face is covered, by any method or reason, short of medical, by request from ANY law enforcement officer should be obeyed and revealed for the propose of identification. Likewise, I hardly think that the suicide bomber will need a neghab in order to carry its evil mission, just not plausible here.

Arguing that these people are being a hypocrite also does not justify taking a woman's right away, as 99% of politician should be stripped of all their rights.

But I agree with you that I believe this law was specific to combat/counter [extreme] Islamic practice, which again, one can argue that all those civil liberties can be addressed in other ways, such as making any sharia law that goes counter to civil law would not be void and not accepted.

Lastly, thank you for the civil discussion.




by Rea on

Well said.

PS. agree not only with the blog but everything you said afterwards, Azadeh. 


Nice Blog

by Raoul1955 on

One major issue that many folks in the West miss is the nonsensical assertion by muslims and the liberals that wearing hijab [in any form] is a muslim woman's choice.  Do women in arabo-islamic nations have the choice of NOT wearing hijab? [Rhetorical]  
If that is a personal choice then how come arabo-islamic nations require our women, who never wear hijab here, to wear hijab when visiting those backward countries? 
As we all know, islam means submission.  How can a culture/ideology that requires submission allow for personal freedoms and personal choices?
Here is what muslims do when their females exercise personal choices with their own lifestyles or even their own bodies:

Anahid Hojjati

thanks Azadeh jan for arguing the case against Neghab

by Anahid Hojjati on

Dear Azadeh, thanks for one by one explaining to commentators including Mehrdad and persian westender about why it is OK to have a ban aginst Neghab. I truly get impatient when I have to explain "badeehi" issues like these to our male commentators. I am glad that you are more patient than me. Your arguments were great.



Thank you Azadeh jan !

by Shemirani on

Excellent blog,It's excactly how you said it, i wish i could write like you do  :)

I don't buy "the personal choice " explanation of this women, Behind such a decision as wearing a Mask (or even the chador) there is always a man (nowadays its mostly a husband but still few fathers). manipulation can be so silent so pervers !

In France there is group of women (with islamic family, living in more islamic aera ...) named "Ni pute, Ni soumise" (which is means Not a slu*t ,not a submitted) they were the first to raise their voice, because in their neighborhood they were insulted all the time by boys because of not covering their hairs, putting make ups,wearing skirts, they create a mouvement to say stop to this attacks! they did a great job !

we (iranians) know perfectly how they start to intimidate you, to convince you  that it's for your own good, to promise you the paradise.... we had a bloody islamic theocracy  and our experience should serves europeans otherwise its means hichi nafahmidim az anche bar sare khodeman amad !

When a women is wearing a nikab she is saying that: i'm pure (or "Najib") for her its a proudness, in opposision to those who are not wearing it (they not pure in other words they are b*chies ! )It's as simple as that !! bala berid payin biayid hichi joz in  dar magze ina nist !


Azarin Sadegh

Well said, Azadeh aziz!

by Azarin Sadegh on

You've said it the best! Thank you!

On a funny note, once I saw a "photo souvenir" on facebook! There was a guy with 5 females in full cover chador...I assumed they were saying cheese under the veil...So this is another argument against the full hejab. It messes up our past. We can't look at our photo albums without wondering which one is our own image, asking ourselves: Was I happy or sad that day?

Watching the world and always just seeing half of it, in a blurry image, cannot be part of the women's freedom.

Thanks again, Azadeh!


Azadeh Azad

First they Want Their Masks, Then They Want Their Sharia Law

by Azadeh Azad on

Sarkosy and the French Interior Ministry are politicians who don’t give a damn about women’s dignity and every decent person is aware of their typical politicians’ hypocrisy.

The French politicians’ (who don’t speak of security neither, but think of it) true motivation is to prevent the Islamization of the French culture and society. They have observed the case of Canada where the Hypocrite and misogynist Muslim community of Ontario, Canada's immigrant-rich province, sought to have the anti-humane and anti-woman Sharia Law officially and legally recognized by the government. After a fierce and long debate, led by Iranian activist Homa Arjomand, the Premier of Ontario refused to recognize Sharia, at least for now.


The French knows that the Dangerous and Hypocrite Islamic Fundamentalists who come to the "Corrupt Western countries" for better lives, first demand that their women be allowed to walk on the streets wearing tents with Masks as Sex Objects that must be covered and seen only by their owners, and then they demand the legal and official adoption of Sharia Law for the Muslims. The French has learnt from the Canadian experience.


The right to choose is not limitless and the French CAN ban the choice. They and any other society will ban the choice of a woman or a man who appears in public nude or covers their bodies except for their genitalia. So the choice and personal freedoms have a limit. No right is absolute.


Dear Mehrdad: you say “They can be requested to lift up their nighabs to check their identity”.

A female officer should be sought for the Mask-Wearing Entity when there is none available, and if this Mask-wearer is a terrorist with bomb on his / her body, everyone would be blown up before the female officer arrives (just one possibility among so many complicated ones.) 

In many countries, it is illegal for any person to wear ski mask when it is not very cold or the person is not skiing.

You say: My objection is “to take away a woman's right to choose, even when I disagree with that choice.”

Do you think that if a woman shows up in public covered except for her genitalia (her choice of clothing), arresting her would be an act against the woman's right? I think not.

Plus, as I said in my blog, Niqab is not Hijab, but a Mask worn on a daily basis in public and not for a specific and occasional activity for a short period of time.

You say, “I believe this is just as wrong as IRI taking away the choice of NOT to wear Islamic hejab from woman.”

My answer to you is: these Neqabi women and their Masters (fathers, husbands, and brothers) are hypocrites. Because while these fundamentalist women want to have the freedom to wear their masks in public in their adoptive country, they don’t allow other women to wear what they want in their (the fundamentalists’) country of origin.

Regarding the sun glasses the size of dinner plate, any policeman can ask a woman in sunglasses to take off her dinner-plate size glasses, but no policeman can ask the fundamentalist woman to show her face as he is a stranger (Naa-mahram.) They should go and find a female police officer to accommodate the Lady Fundamentalist, the Hypocrite par excellence (as mentioned above.).


Dear Persian Westender: You say, “I still don't understand how it could jeopardize other people's security?”

My answer is simple: a terrorist wears Hijab plus Niqab (mask). Entering a public place with bomb around his / her waste to blow up hundreds of people. And no one would approach these hypocrite criminals because they appear as women in Niqab who  are publically announcing, through their outfit,  “Don’t approach me and don’t talk to me.”


Dear Anahid: Thank you for your support.




This whole hijab/niqab issue

by Roozbeh_Gilani on

Would have been a non issue if we had not have these high profile acts of terrorism, hostage taking, etc committed by al qaeda, islamist regime and alike. As pointed out in a related blog, the measure by french government is a direct reaction to popular pressure by european citizens. The far right/Neo-nazi organisations in Europe are on the rise, using  muslim immigration as a vote winning issue, and main political parties reacting accordingly.

In the end of the day, the real losers, as usual are the ordinary muslims who want to live their lives, practice their religions, in relative peace and quiet of a European country. 

"Personal business must yield to collective interest."


Thank you Azadeh, Niqabs and Bikinis

by IranFirst on

Some Islamists keep taking about bikinis and mini skirts in West and
their supposed immorality ! What is wrong with wearing revealing cloths
if that is what a woman wants to wear and it is not violating anyone
else' s rights. If the culture of a country has reached a point that
wearing mini skirts and bikinis are considered a norm , what is wrong
with them? What a society can accept as "norm" depends on THAT country
and culture and freedom from imposed religions such as Islam. Some
people are partially or completely nude in Amazon, and it is not
considered immoral.

But what if some people want to completely go against the common
practiced current "norm" in a country? , For example why not license
nudism is streets of any city, but that I think will violate the rights
of others who do not want to be shocked by exhibitionists. This wearing
the Masks/Niqabs is along the same line, It shocks the people of the
host country to see a wired creature waking in their streets with an
outfit such as above and claims to be a new citizen, but does not want
to assimilate to any parts of the current culture of the host country. She
(or he, under that cloths) can be a security risk with hidden identity
in the age of world wide Jihadist terrorism. Just like the Nudist
example, the French have not banned hijab they are just asking them to
wear these clown outfits (Masks) in their designated areas (indoors and
away from public view).

Anahid Hojjati

this is a long discussion, bavafa, hoselasho nadaram

by Anahid Hojjati on

 May be, Aazadeh will wake up since her time is European and as writer of the blog, she can explain to you. For now, I just agree to disagree with you, Cheers.

persian westender


by persian westender on

I simply asked a question from author of this blog that how she thinks neghab can jeopardize other people's security as she brought in her blog.

I asked this question in the context of the new law in France. It does not imply that I am defending neghab. What Niloofar parsi has to do with it?... or poetry for god's sake?!! 



Dear Anahid: In the risk of sounding even more silly [to you]

by Bavafa on

My objection is not in defense of neghab, but to take away a woman's right to chose, even when I disagree with that choice. Just in case you missed it, or chose to ignore it, I believe this is just as wrong as IRI taking away the choice of NOT to wear Islamic hejab from woman.

Like it has been mentioned, this is not a matter of security.. If it was it should have been written in such way to target all cases of covering face such as sun glasses the size of dinner plate which has been the fashion in the last few years.


Anahid Hojjati

pw if you are smart enough

by Anahid Hojjati on

To write poetry like that, think for few minutes, you will understand. I consider it waste of my time to go over issues like this with people who for all I know might be playing devil's advocate. We used to have one Nilofar Parsi, now that she is not here, her flag has to be carried by poets and poetry lovers who should know better.

persian westender


by persian westender on

I still don't understand how it could jeopardize other people's security?

I remeber it was an issue a while ago (in Montreal), when these people wanted to vote, but could not be identified with their faces covered... 


Anahid Hojjati

issue is not what France says

by Anahid Hojjati on

Issue is that covering one's face with neghab is degrading, security hazard, not a religious requirement. I am surprised some of you people in west don't get the point. Did you guys ever write about poor women in Iran that were and still are subject to Islamic police going around and telling them that their hair is showing a bit or who is the guy they are with? when I was a 20 year old woman in Iran, where were you guys to defend my rights not to be subject to Islamic police telling me that my clothes were not Islamic enough?

Hafez for Beginners

No mention of "Security"

by Hafez for Beginners on

France's official Interior Ministry statement does not mention "Security" - and talks of this Ban being about "Secularism and the principle of Equality between men and women." - French Interior Minister, April 10, 2011.

Interesting how they don't apply "Equality" to the number of tits and asses we have to see every minute of the day - versus the number of scantily dressed up penises. No Equality there. LIke someone pointed out before, this is about appeasing the Right Wing - the growing neo-Nazi sentiment in France. They're not even trying to cover it up with a "Security" argument.

I wish it was, but they're openly not mentioning "Security", at least not in their official statement - dated: Yesterday. 


Anahid Hojjati

Bavafa, usually you are sensible person

by Anahid Hojjati on

but in defense of neghab, you are starting to sound silly.Are you serious with this comment that you wrote? Lift their neghab up? I don't feel safe with neghabi people in public. Am I supposed to go to them and ask them to lift their neghab up? It is not even in Islam. it is a backwards tradition just to humilate and isolate women. Truly disappointed that you are defending it.


Dear Azadeh,

by Bavafa on

The application of identity is easily remediable if that was the true concern. They can be requested to lift up their nighabs to check their identity when it is required, much like they can ask you to remove your helmet or ski mask.

Are there any laws against full face helmet or ski mask, should Kelvin Klein or designers decide that is a fashion to wear ski mask?

This is nothing but taking one's right to hejab, much like what in our countries such as Iran or Saudi Arabia they have taken a woman's right not to wear hejab


Anahid Hojjati

thanks Azadeh jan for your blog

by Anahid Hojjati on

Yes, even Islam does not say that women have to cover their face so these neghabists are kashe daghtar az ash. Definitey neghab and other masks are a threat to security.