IMSD strongly condemns the repressive Iranian regime, questions the hypocrisy of the Muslim clergy in India

iran protest

Indian Muslims for Secular Democracy (IMSD) strongly condemns the Iranian State’s obscurantist, authoritarian laws and their murderous enforcement, as also the denial of the citizens’ right to protest.  In this third decade of the 21st century it’s inhuman and barbaric to kill a fellow human being merely for not covering her head.

At the same time, we question the hypocrisy of India’s Muslim clergy in not supporting the Iranian women’s right to choose, an argument it puts forward in the context of the ongoing hijab controversy in India.

The world is witnessing a horrendous turn of events in Iran where State atrocity has caused the custodial murder of a 22-years-old young woman, #MahasaAmini , just for taking off her head cover. No less shocking is the fact that those protesting the murder by peacefully defying the mandatory head covering are being subjected to violence, humiliation and arrests on the streets by the police.

The news and real time videos coming from Tehran and other parts of Iran are heart wrenching. However the heart-warming aspect of these protests is the active support of young Iranian men who are opposing both archaic traditional practices and State atrocities.

In this epochal moment, the Indian clergy and conservative Muslims in general that support mandatory head covering for Muslim women, citing the principle of right to choose attire, must be questioned whether they support Iranian women’s ‘right to choose or refuse head coverings’?

It will be hypocritical of all those  who tom-tom this liberal democratic argument that ‘forced removal of burqa, naqab, hijab is against the basic human rights of a woman’, but who do not come forward in support of Iranian women of different faiths who are forced to cover their heads in consonance with Islamic Shariah practices of Iran. It is to be noted here that in Iran the rule of mandatory head covering is applicable to Muslims and non-Muslims alike.

IMSD calls upon the civil society in India to challenge the hypocrisy of those religious power elite who choose the liberal principles of Indian constitution as per their fundamentalist and misogynistic conveniences while they remain tight lipped when these principles are flouted against the progressive aspirations of the citizens in Islamic States.


  1. Akbar Shaikh, Indian Muslims Secular Youth Movement, Solapur
  2. Amir Rizvi, IMSD, Designer, Mumbai
  3. Anjum Javed, Delhi
  4. Anjum Rajabali, IMSD, Film writer, Mumbai.
  5. Ali Bhojani, IMSD, Mumbai
  6. Alok Sheel, retired IAS, Delhi
  7. (Dr) Anthony P. J.
  8. (Dr.) Anuradha Chenoi, Delhi
  9. Anurag Chaturvedi, senior journalist, Mumbai
  10. Arif Kapadia, IMSD, Business, Mumbra
  11. Arshad Alam, IMSD, Writer, Columnist, Delhi
  12. Asha Puri, Delhi
  13. Ashhar Khan, Jaunpur
  14. Asiya Shervani, Hyderabad
  15. Askari Zaidi, IMSD, Senior Journalist, Activist, Mumbai
  16. Azeez Pasha, Hyderabad
  17. Deepak Sanon, retired IAS
  18. Dipak Malik, Varanasi
  19. Dipak Roy, Delhi
  20. Feroz Abbas Khan, IMSD, Theatre & Films Director, Mumbai
  21. Feroze Mithiborwala, Co-convener, IMSD, Mumbai
  22. (Dr) G. G. Parikh, Freedom fighter, Mumbai
  23. Ghulam Mohiuddin, USA
  24. Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi, Writer, Teacher, Researcher in Culture, Media & Islamic Studies
  25. (Prof.) Girija Gupte, Feminist, Mumbai
  26. Guddi S. L. , Activist, Mumbai
  27. Harsh Kapoor, Independent researcher, Editor, France
  28. Irfan Engineer, IMSD, CSSS, Mumbai
  29. (Dr.) Jamsheed Rizwani, France
  30. Jasjit Randhawa
  31. Javed Akhtar, IMSD, Poet, Film Writer, former MP, Mumbai
  32. Javed Anand, Convener, IMSD, Mumbai
  33. Jyoti Badekar, Bharat Bachao Andolan, Panvel
  34. Kanhaiya Lal Sharma
  35. Kasim Sait, IMSD, Businessman, activist, Chennai
  36. Kishor Jagtap, Ganai Cultural Movement, Kalyan
  37. Kusum Verma, Varanasi
  38. Madhu Prasad, IMSD, retired professor, activist Delhi
  39. Mahabub Shaikh, Indian Muslims Secular Youth Movement, Bengaluru
  40. Mallika Sarabhai, activist, Indian classical dancer, actress, Ahmedabad
  41. Mandita Mitra, Delhi
  42. Medha Patkar, NAPM Convener, Mumbai
  43. Mohammed Imran, USA, Delhi
  44. Mridula Mukherjee, Delhi
  45. Muniza Khan, IMSD, Social Activist, Varanasi
  46. Nandita Sehgal, retired IAS
  47. Naseeruddin Shah, Actor, Mumbai
  48. ND Jayaprakash
  49. Neelima Sharma, Theatre, Delhi
  50. Nihar Bhattacharya, Varanasi
  51. Nirmala George, Delhi
  52. Persis Ginwala, Ahmedabad
  53. Pratibha Shinde, Lok Sangarsh Morcha, Jalgaon
  54. (Dr) Ram Puniyani, Author, activist, Mumbai
  55. (Dr.) Qaiser Shameem, Delhi
  56. Renu, Delhi
  57. Ritambhara Shastri, Delhi
  58. Rooprekha Verma, activist, former vice-chancellor Lucknow University.
  59. Sabah Khan, IMSD, Parcham, Mumbai/Mumbra
  60. Sadique Basha, IMSD, Activist, Mira Road, Thane
  61. Saif Mahmood, IMSD, Lawyer, Supreme Court, Delhi
  62. Sandip Pandey, Political activist, Lucknow
  63. Sarita Sabiruddin, USA
  64. (Dr.) Satish Mishra, Delhi
  65. Satya Narayan Sahu
  66. Satyen K Bordoloi, IMSD, Copywriter, editor, Mumbai
  67. Shabana Azmi, Actor, former MP, activist, Mumbai
  68. Shabana Dean, Naturopath, Mumbai
  69. Shafat Khan, IMSD, Writer, Mumbai
  70. (Dr) Shanawaz Alam, IMSD, Asst Professor, Sultanpur
  71. Shalini Dhawan, Designer, Mumbai
  72. Shama Bano, Varanasi
  73. Shama Zaidi, IMSD, Documentary Film Maker, Mumbai
  74. Shamsul Islam, Author, Delhi
  75. Sheeba Aslam Fehmi, IMSD, feminist writer, research scholar and a senior journalist, Delhi
  76. Shikha Sen, Delhi
  77. Smita Salunkhe, Vidyarthi Bharti, Kalyan
  78. Subhashini Ali, CPI(M), AIDWA, Kanpur
  79. Sujata Bhattacharya, Varanasi
  80. Sultan Shahin, Editor-in-chief, New Age Islam, Delhi
  81. (Dr.) Sunilam, former ex-MLA, activist, Indore
  82. Sunita Vedantam, Delhi
  83. Taizoon Khorakiwala, IMSD, Businessman, philanthropist, Mumbai
  84. Teesta Setalvad, IMSD, CJP, Mumbai
  85. Tushar Gandhi, Author, activist, Mumbai
  86. Utpala, Delhi
  87. Vasanthi Raman, Retired professor, Delhi
  88. Vibha Wahi, Varanasi
  89. Vibhuti Narain Rai, IMSD, retired IPS, writer, commentator, Noida
  90. K. Singh, Varanasi
  91. Vimla Chand, Sydney
  92. Yashodhan Paranjpe, social activist, Mumbai
  93. Yogendra Yadav, Swaraj Abhiyan, Delhi
  94. Zakia Soman, BMMA, Delhi
  95. Zeenat Shaukatali, IMSD, Islamic Scholar, Wisdom Foundation, Mumbai

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