Iranians are boycotting a ride application after a driver asked a female passenger to wear her hijab in his vehicle.
An Iranian ride-hailing application is facing a major boycott campaign after one of its drivers asked a female passenger to cover her head after her hijab (headscarf) fell off while in the vehicle.
Last week, a Snapp taxi app driver asked the woman he had picked up to cover her head with her hijab after it had fallen off. The request led to an argument between the two, and the driver refused to drop off the woman passenger at her destination, tweeted the Iranian woman passenger. The driver said he offered to take her back to her pick up point.
According to Iran's Muslim-dictated law, females are required to cover their heads and wear loose clothing.
After the incident, the passenger tweeted the name and picture of the driver, which she later deleted.
Snapp, a taxi-hailing application based in Iran much like the United States-based Uber, along with news media celebrated the driver, Saeed Abed, for promoting Islamic values. The app said that it supports Abed and that the company is obliged to follow Iranian law.
The support for the driver sparked outrage on social media. Twitter users started a campaign calling for a Snapp boycott. A hashtag in Arabic translating to #Snappboycott has been retweeted 70,000 times and users are tweeting, "Uninstall? Definitely YES!" to the question of whether or not to uninstall the app from their phones.
"I deleted the app because I think if they see a decline in orders this would mean that our message is received," Mani, a resident of Tehran, told the press, but he doesn't think boycotting the app will necessarily mean the hijab dispute will be solved.
Shirin, a 30-year-old English teacher said she hasn’t used the app becaues she faced a similar same situation in the past.
Many Iranian women are against this compulsory use of hijab. In 2005, the government found the “morality police” to monitor and enforce dress code which received widespread backlash.
It was reported last week that Iran has introduced 2,000 new morality police units in reaction to increased defiance of the dress codes. More recent protests by women against the hijab code have resulted in the hundreds of arrests of the women
Wednesday, the state news agency IRNA reported that Iran’s traffic police have been monitoring vehicles and warning drivers female passengers are obliged to wear the hijab.