Women refusing to wear hijab in car spark controversy in Iran

Source: Xinhua| 2017-07-12 14:11:05|Editor: Liangyu
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TEHRAN, July 12 (Xinhua) -- As a growing number of Iranian women refuse to wear a hijab -- a veil traditionally worn by Muslim women -- while driving, whether a car is a private space has sparked controversy in the Islamic republic.

Many in Iran believe that private space includes the inside of a car, but judicial authorities and police disagree, British newspaper The Guardian reported Tuesday.

"The invisible part of the car, such as the trunk, is a private space, but this does not apply to the visible parts of the car," Hadi Sadeghi, deputy head of Iran's judiciary chief, was quoted by the paper as saying.

"What is visible to the public eye is not private space and norms and rules should be respected within cars," said Saeid Montazeralmahdi, a spokesperson for the Iranian police.

He also warned car owners against using tinted glass to prevent onlookers from seeing into the car.

But others have voiced strong opposition.

"The law says that the space within a car is a private space," Iran's official IRNA news agency quoted Hossein Ahmadiniaz, a lawyer, as saying. "The government's Citizens' Rights Charter (launched by Iran's moderate President Hassan Rouhani) also considers a car to be a private space and it is incumbent upon enforcers to respect that."

Yahya Kamalpour, a member of the Iranian parliament, said the space within people's cars is a private space and the police have no right to enter that space without a judicial order.

The debate comes amid a growing rift between the government and the hard-line judiciary that acts independently of Rouhani's government, The Guardian's report said.

Clashes between women and Iran's morality police particularly increase in the summer when temperatures rise, according to the report.