“Forced hijab is the most visible symbol of oppression against women in Iran, that’s why fighting for freedom to wear or not to wear hijab is the first step towards full equality,” Alinejad told the Guardian on Monday. “These women are not protesting against a piece of cloth, it’s about our identity, our dignity, and our freedom of choice. Our body, our choice.”
"I do realise there is a lot of mixed reactions as to why Nike decided to create such a product now,” Haddad wrote in a Facebook post about the launch of the product. "It is a recent phenomenon where more women have expressed a need for it and more professional athletes have fought for rights to compete with a headscarf, and have an equal playing field. We made it big in the news, we couldn't be ignored. I support Muslim women with or without hijab, and how they dress is their choice. And with the Nike sports Hijab, it surely will encourage a new generation of athletes to pursue sports professionally.”
My Stealthy Freedom is a movement encouraging Iranian women to fight for freedom from hijabs, the head-obscuring garment women have had to wear since the Islamic Revolution in 1979. Since Iranian journalist Masih Alineja founded the movement in 2014, women of Iran have engaged in acts of defiance with the way they wear their hijabs and their clothes in general–their collective statement taking on more resonance the more it has spread.
Nike noted that the new design was aimed at addressing both the cultural requirements of the garment and the particular styles of each Muslim country. Nike also said that fewer than one in seven girls participates in locally recommended sports activities for an hour or more in Middle Eastern countries and said it hopes to inspire more women and girls there "who still face barriers and limited access to sport."
A 22-year-old figure skater, who was the first woman to compete internationally wearing a headscarf after being inspired to take up the sport professionally by watching a Disney film, has helped the United Arab Emirates become the first Arab state to join the International Skating Union [ISU] despite the near-complete absence of snow and ice in the Persian Gulf..
Globally, we have benefited from their dedicated efforts for centuries and yet anti-Muslim sentiments and Islamophobia continues to spread at an alarming rate. For example, Muslim women who wear traditional Islamic clothing, such as the hijab or niqab, are more likely to face incidents of abuse than women who are not veiled. A study by Tell MAMA (Measuring Anti-Muslim Attacks), a U.K. based organization, has shown that approximately 56% of Muslims who are harassed or attacked are women. Many female victims of Islamophobia believe they were also assaulted because of their gender, due to the sexist and misogynistic language used by their attackers.