Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei recently issued a new fatwa declaring that women in cartoons and animated films must wear the hijab, according to a recent report by the semi-official Tasnim news agency.
“Is observing hijab necessary for characters in animated films (three-dimensional paintings that come from the artist’s mind)?” Khamenei was asked by an enquirer on a Telegram channel, according to a translation of the question by the IranWire news website.
“Although wearing hijab in such a hypothetical situation is not required per se, observing hijab in animation is required due to the consequences of not wearing hijab,” IranWire quoted Khamenei as saying in his reply.
Wearing a headscarf and covering all parts of the body was made mandatory for women in Iran soon after the establishment of the Islamic Republic in 1979.
Women who leave part of their hair uncovered in public are regularly targeted by Iran’s morality police, known as Gasht-e Ershad.
In recent years, women in Iran have been harassed both by the police and men on the street for “improperly” wearing the hijab. Last October, a young woman was arrested in central Iran for “insulting the Islamic hijab” after a video appeared to show her cycling without a veil, according to the official IRNA news agency.
In March of last year, a video showing a man attacking a woman in Iran went viral and sparked outrage on social media. The woman was attacked for being a “bad hijab,” according to some social media users.
Al Arabiya English’s Yaghoub Fazeli contributed to this report.