Iran’s Supreme Leader Victim-Blames Aly Raisman Over Sexual Assault by the Forward

Iran’s Supreme Leader Victim-Blames Aly Raisman Over Sexual Assault

Image by Getty Images

In the wake of the #MeToo campaign, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei of Iran offered Western women a suggestion: Why not try a hijab?

Khamenei tweeted on Wednesday a dramatic video of prominent women who have experienced sexual abuse. It begins with a shot of Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman testifying against Larry Nassar, the former doctor of the U.S. Olympic gymnastics team convicted of multiple sex crimes. The video went on to feature other prominent victims of sexual misconduct, including Western politicians like Elizabeth Warren. Khamenei called this a “disaster.”

Near the end of the nearly two and-a half-minute video, he is shown delivering a speech offering a solution: the hijab, a religious head-covering worn by Muslim women.

“By introducing hijab, Islam has shut the door on a path that would pull women toward such deviation,” he says.

Unfortunately, women in Muslim countries are not free from abuse. In Iran, for example, where wearing the hijab is compulsory, sexual harassment is still prevalent. “Men aggressively stare at me, talk to me, call me names. I feel naked, and worthless,” one woman told the Guardian.

The #MeToo movement has also spread to the country, with people sharing stories on Twitter of rape and sexual assault, according to the Tehran Times.

Alyssa Fisher is a news writer at the Forward. Email her at, or follow her on Twitter at @alyssalfisher


Iran’s Supreme Ruler Blames Raisman Over Sexual Assault

Your Comments

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. All readers can browse the comments, and all Forward subscribers can add to the conversation. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not and will be deleted. Egregious commenters or repeat offenders will be banned from commenting. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and the Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

Iran’s Supreme Leader Victim-Blames Aly Raisman Over Sexual Assault

Thank you!

This article has been sent!