A number of Middle Eastern nations are known for their restrictive treatment of women. From forcing them to cover their faces to treating them unfairly in matters of law, the examples of discrimination are plentiful. However, one woman in Iran had a noteworthy — and fierce — response when faced with a cleric’s demand that she cover up: She beat him in the middle of the street.
Now, the story seems unbelievable, especially considering the fear that many women have in nations like Iran. But numerous outlets are reporting that the incident unfolded in the city of Shahmirzad, when Hojatoleslam Ali Beheshti, a cleric, was walking to a mosque.
Ali Beheshti noticed a women who was “badly covered,” so he proceeded to ask her repeatedly to fix her outfit. Perhaps he caught the woman on a bad day or maybe she was intent on making fashion statement. Either way, she instantly responded with snark.
“You, cover your eyes,” she allegedly said after the cleric’s first attempt to get her to cover up more diligently.
From there, the situation only intensified. When Ali Beheshti, again, demanded that she cover up, she then insulted him. Naturally, the cleric, feeling offended, switched his demands to focus on her insult, asking the woman not to say such words (though he didn’t explain what, exactly, she had said). That’s when the situation turned down-right interesting.
“I asked her not to insult me anymore, but she started shouting and threatening me. She pushed me and I fell to the ground on my back,” the cleric explained. “From that point on, I don’t know what happened. I was just feeling the kicks of the woman who was beating me up and insulting me.”
In the end, Ali Beheshti said the violent incident and its aftermath have collectively been solidified to form “the word day” of his life. He purportedly spent three days in the hospital following the beating.
Bloomberg has more about Iran’s restrictive clothing regulations:
Since the 1979 revolution that brought Shiite Muslim religious leaders to power, women in Iran have been required to cover their hair and body curves in public with head-scarves and loose-fitting coats, to protect religious values and “preserve society’s morals and security.”
The government condemns short, tight and colorful coats and loosely tied head-scarves, and routinely organizes police patrols to enforce the Islamic dress code. Public surveillance increases in summer when some women opt for flimsier clothing.
Despite his suffering, Ali Beheshti claims he will continue working to “command right and forbid wrong.” Interestingly, he did not file a complaint against the woman. However, the judiciary is now investigating the incident, according to the semi-official Mehr news agency. No additional details have been released of late, but it is being treated as a case of “public beating.”