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Overnight protests rock Tehran, other Iranian cities, videos show

People take part in a protest in Zahedan, Iran in this screen grab taken from a social media video released February 17, 2023 and obtained by Reuters

Reuters Protests rocked Iran again overnight Thursday after seeming to have dwindled in recent weeks, with marchers calling for the overthrow of the Islamic Republic, online video posts purportedly showed on Friday. The marches in numerous cities including Tehran that began on Thursday evening and went on into the night marked 40 days since the […]

Iranian woman competes at chess tournament without hijab – media reports

Kazakhstan Iranian chess player Sara Khadem

Dubai, United Arab Emirates Reuters An Iranian chess player has taken part in an international tournament without a hijab, according to media reports, the latest of several Iranian sportswomen to appear at competitions without one since anti-government protests began. Iran has been swept by demonstrations against the country’s clerical leadership since mid-September, when 22-year-old Iranian […]

Taliban minister defends closing universities to women as global backlash grows

Afghanistan Kabul university ban protest1

Kabul, AfghanistanReuters Afghanistan’s Taliban-run administration said on Thursday it had closed universities to women partly due to female students not adhering to its interpretation of the Islamic dress code, in a decision that was condemned globally. Female university students were turned away from campuses on Wednesday and the higher education ministry said their access would […]

Many Afghan women pushing back against Taliban orders to cover up

Afghanistan Kabul women

Kabul, AfghanistanReuters Many women in the Afghan capital are delaying a return to fully covering their faces in public in defiance of orders from Islamist Taliban rulers, others are staying at home and some have been wearing COVID-19 face masks anyway. The Taliban, who swept back to power as the government collapsed, on Saturday ordered […]

India’s hijab dispute reaches its most populous state

India Mumbai hijab protest

Lucknow, India Reuters A dispute over restrictions on the wearing of the hijab by female students in a southern Indian state has now reached India’s most populous state of Uttar Pradesh, with a group of youngsters asking a college to ban the head covering. Authorities closed colleges in Karnataka in India’s south last week after […]

Across Africa, hijab in schools divides Christians and Muslims

Nigeria students in school

Nairobi, KenyaRNS In its traditional form, religious veils worn by Muslim women signify modesty and privacy. Fashions range from simple scarves known as “khimaars” to head-to-toe cloaks known as abayas or burqas.  But in any form, wearing hijab is regarded as an act of worship or a statement of Muslim faith, and recently, the religious […]

Kenyan Supreme Court overturns ruling allowing hijab in Christian schools

Kenya Hijab

Nairobi, KenyaRNS An emotional debate over whether Muslim students may wear hijab in Christian schools took a new turn last week when the Kenyan Supreme Court reversed a lower-court ruling that had allowed female students to wear Muslim headscarves to school. The ruling comes amid a heightened push by Muslim leaders and civic groups for […]