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Iranian women share cycling videos in defiance of Ayatollah ban

By Andrew V. Pestano
Iranian women share cycling videos in defiance of Ayatollah ban
Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei earlier this month issued a fatwa banning women from riding bicycles. Recently, a mother and daughter uploaded a video of themselves riding bikes in defiance of the ruling as part of the My Stealthy Freedom movement in which women use social media to show themselves riding bikes. File Photo by Leader.ir/HO/UPI | License Photo

TEHRAN, Sept. 21 (UPI) -- Iranian women have taken to filming themselves cycling in defiance of Ayatollah Khamenei's fatwa banning women from riding bicycles in public places.

The videos are part of the My Stealthy Freedom movement that was started by Masih Alinejad, an Iranian journalist, following Ayatollah Khamenei's fatwa decree.

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"Riding a bicycle often attracts the attention of men and exposes the society to corruption," Khamenei told Iranian state media earlier this month. "It contravenes women's chastity and it must be abandoned."

My Stealthy Freedom said that it is "not going to give up" in fighting against the fatwa.

"The world is hearkening to the voices of women who say they refuse to change their lifestyle because a fatwa was issued against cycling. These women are not criminals because they are not doing anything wrong by cycling," My Stealthy Freedom wrote on Facebook.

In one video uploaded to Facebook, a woman and her daughter are seen wearing hijabs while cycling on a road in the Iranian island territory of Kish.

"My mom and I are from Tehran ... We love cycling. It is our absolute right and we are not going to give up," a woman, who identified herself as the daughter, said in the video. "Bicycle riding is part of our lives ... We were here when we heard Ayatollah Khamenei's fatwa banning women from bicycling. We immediately rented two bicycles to say we're not giving up cycling."

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