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Dress as a political statement in Iran by Alex Bruni.

"My visit to Iran has made me reflect on the whole issue of ‘modest wear’ and in particular, coercive wearing of the hijab. I did not get the impression, in Iran, that the hijab and manto were merely the expression of a Muslim identity, freely embraced. A lot more was at stake; the issue is political rather than religious. Here I am mindful of Islamic Studies scholar Faegheh Shirazi pointing out, in 2003, how the hijab acquires different meanings in different contexts. The very fact that I, a non-Muslim, had to wear hijab and manto everywhere (except in my hotel room) ‘because this is the law’ as well as the sustained attempt, on behalf of many Iranian women, at removing their hijab or at the very least, personalise their attire in whatever way they could, reminded me of coercive school uniforms or even prison uniforms. "