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Glass Cowcatcher

Female Arab/Muslim Athletes on the rise

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Glass Cowcatcher

[link=http://www.npr.org/blogs/pictureshow/2012/07/27/157432980/photos-female-arab-athletes-on-the-rise]This article was on NPR today.[/link] Pictures of female Arab/Muslim* athletes. Some of whom are going to the Olympics this year. Thought I'd post because I found the variety of dress interesting, and I'm glad to see small steps for women in that part of the world.

 

*The article says Arab, but several commenters point out that many of the women do not look Arabic.

Edited by OnceUponATime
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Sunnichick31

I'm glad to see that more Arab/Muslim women are competing. I know that it's a small step forward, but what counts is that it IS a step! :)

And in regards to the commenters saying the women don't look Arab, Old School Hejabi (aka my favorite hijabi fashion blog and my fave person to buy from) had a nice post about that a while back.

muhajabat.wordpress.com/2011/01/12/rid-yourself-of-the-stereotypes/

Her post is so true, too. My BFF is Pakistani, but when I first met her I thought she was a white convert. An aquantence of mine is Turkish, but looks Arab. My husband is Turkish and is just a couple shades darker than me (i'm sooo pale!) I've met black Saudis, and Bengalis who look like Hispanics and Bengalis who look like Africans. Stereotypes just don't work.

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pomology

When I was looking at the Olympic fencers, I was both surprised and pleased to see that there were several female fencers from North African and Middle Eastern countries. Many of the women were wearing hijabis.

Fencing is so NOT a sport that anybody could pass off as submissive or feminine and so I was pleased that these women were competing in at such a high level.

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19 dogs and counting

It's great for us Westerners to see all different sorts of Arab women. I'm an Arab American (Tunisian) and am proud to say that there are more Tunisian women in their universities than men. It doesn't change the misogyny Islam (or Christianity for that matter) teaches though.

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Sunnichick31

Um, actually, if you're familiar with the sunnah and hadith and if you've studied carefully, Islam is NOT misoginistic. Women were given rights long before Western women. It's culture that is misoginistic.

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CanadianHippie

If I remember correctly, this is the first olympics where every participating country has female athletes.

Also, people mistake culture for religion, which means it's a good idea to do your own research before accepting claims like "Islam is misogynistic". Heck, I went into my research thinking "there has to be some exaggeration/confusion" going and was surprised by the rights given to women in Islam.

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19 dogs and counting
Um, actually, if you're familiar with the sunnah and hadith and if you've studied carefully, Islam is NOT misoginistic. Women were given rights long before Western women. It's culture that is misoginistic.

No, I have not studied carefully as I'm not particularly pro-religion and have no need to defend the rights you ascribe. It's awesome that Muslim women were given rights before Western women but it doesn't change the misogyny that prevails and which in many ways is propagated by Abrahamic religions. Granted, I see your point that culture plays a large role in the mysogyny but it's not the sole opressive actor. As I said before, it's says a lot that there are more women in Tunisian universities than men but it did not stop my aunt (a college biology professor) from being murdered by her fundamentalist husband because she never gave birth to a boy.

Also, I'm not here to argue and I'm not pretending to know all. I mainly just have first hand experiences to draw from. If you have valid points that prove it is all culture and not religion please share.

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Patsy
... and if you've studied carefully...

Could you provide some examples? Because in my experience, people use that as code for "I can explain away the horrible parts with complex hermeneutics".

For example - the Bible gives instructions on how to keep slaves in the OT and never bans slavery. The response "But if you've studied carefully, in that time slavery was de rigeur and that passage was just trying to improve their lot!" does not redeem the passage for me. Slavery is condoned. Full stop. The other stuff is interesting, but it doesn't change that fact.

It definitely seems to me that a lot of the examples of poor treatment of women, both individually and nationally, in Muslim countries is because of culture and does not explicitly stem from the Koran, even if a lot of people in the culture link the practices to their religion. But I've also read some dodgy quotes from the Koran that remain dodgy, even if they aren't typical of the Koran's general view of women.

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Sunnichick31

No, I have not studied carefully as I'm not particularly pro-religion and have no need to defend the rights you ascribe. It's awesome that Muslim women were given rights before Western women but it doesn't change the misogyny that prevails and which in many ways is propagated by Abrahamic religions. Granted, I see your point that culture plays a large role in the mysogyny but it's not the sole opressive actor. As I said before, it's says a lot that there are more women in Tunisian universities than men but it did not stop my aunt (a college biology professor) from being murdered by her fundamentalist husband because she never gave birth to a boy.

Also, I'm not here to argue and I'm not pretending to know all. I mainly just have first hand experiences to draw from. If you have valid points that prove it is all culture and not religion please share.

Islam does NOT condone murdering someone because of the gender of her kids. There is a hadith which says that if a person educates 3 daughters, he will go to paradise. Someone asked what if I only have 2 daughters? Mohammad answered that the person will still go to paradise for teaching them. Again, someone asked about 1 daughter, again, they will go to paradise for educating them.

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Sunnichick31
When I was looking at the Olympic fencers, I was both surprised and pleased to see that there were several female fencers from North African and Middle Eastern countries. Many of the women were wearing .

Fencing is so NOT a sport that anybody could pass off as submissive or feminine and so I was pleased that these women were competing in at such a high level.

It's kinda sad that even though some athletes are trying to compete in hijabs, they are being given a hard time. One Saudi woman might not be able to compete in Judo because the hijab is not allowed. :( It sounds like one of the runners had a hard time too. It's so sad that she went all the way to the olympics but might not be able to compete because of some stupid rule. One step forward for Saudi women, two steps back.

reuters.com/article/2012/07/29/us-oly-ksa-hijab-day-idUSBRE86S0MR20120729

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Sunnichick31

Could you provide some examples? Because in my experience, people use that as code for "I can explain away the horrible parts with complex hermeneutics".

For example - the Bible gives instructions on how to keep slaves in the OT and never bans slavery. The response "But if you've studied carefully, in that time slavery was de rigeur and that passage was just trying to improve their lot!" does not redeem the passage for me. Slavery is condoned. Full stop. The other stuff is interesting, but it doesn't change that fact.

It definitely seems to me that a lot of the examples of poor treatment of women, both individually and nationally, in Muslim countries is because of culture and does not explicitly stem from the Koran, even if a lot of people in the culture link the practices to their religion. But I've also read some dodgy quotes from the Koran that remain dodgy, even if they aren't typical of the Koran's general view of women.

I admit there are a lot of things which, in modern society, don't seem all that great. I will admit that. I haven't studied slavery in the times of Mohammad all that much, so I don't feel I can give good answers for that. However, I do know that several of the companions of the Prophet were former slaves (Bilal is the first one who comes to mind. He was a slave who became Muslim and when he became Muslim, his "owner" {in quotes because i don't believe in owning another person} tortured him. A rich Muslim named Abu Bakr saw the torture, bough Bilal and set him free immediately.) For now, since I myself don't fully understand slavery back then, I have to satisfy myself with the idea that any rules set in place were for the better.

Sorry I can't give a better answer than that. Slavery isn't something that i've studied since it's not practiced in our time, and since there are other things I'd rather study first.

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latraviata
Um, actually, if you're familiar with the sunnah and hadith and if you've studied carefully, Islam is NOT misoginistic. Women were given rights long before Western women. It's culture that is misoginistic.

Some verses and quotes and articles about misogyny in the quran and hadith:

http://skepticsannotatedbible.com/quran/women/long.html

http://www.answering-islam.org/Authors/ ... ferior.htm

Culture and religion are inherent to each other and therefore not strictly separate concepts.

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Terrie

Islam, like Christianity, goes through it's good and bad periods. There are definitely predominately Muslim regions of the world going through their own Dark Ages right now. And, of course, fundies want the US to have their own Christian Dark Ages. But I definitely agree that there are a lot of variations of practice driven by culture. Indonesia is predominately Muslim, but their women's badminton doubles team fit none of the the images that most Americans would expect. Short hair, no hijab, short sleeves, shorts. (Oh, and they TROUNCED Australia and South Africa, so far).

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2xx1xy1JD

I admit there are a lot of things which, in modern society, don't seem all that great. I will admit that. I haven't studied slavery in the times of Mohammad all that much, so I don't feel I can give good answers for that. However, I do know that several of the companions of the Prophet were former slaves (Bilal is the first one who comes to mind. He was a slave who became Muslim and when he became Muslim, his "owner" {in quotes because i don't believe in owning another person} tortured him. A rich Muslim named Abu Bakr saw the torture, bough Bilal and set him free immediately.) For now, since I myself don't fully understand slavery back then, I have to satisfy myself with the idea that any rules set in place were for the better.

Sorry I can't give a better answer than that. Slavery isn't something that i've studied since it's not practiced in our time, and since there are other things I'd rather study first.

Define "in our time". There were slave raids as recently as 2005 going on in Sudan.

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/postpa ... sudan.html

What was the reaction of the rest of the Muslim world to the atrocities being perpetrated by the Khartoum regime?

There has also been trafficking of children under 15 from South Asia to the United Arab Emirates.

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CanadianHippie

Define "in our time". There were slave raids as recently as 2005 going on in Sudan.

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/postpa ... sudan.html

What was the reaction of the rest of the Muslim world to the atrocities being perpetrated by the Khartoum regime?

There has also been trafficking of children under 15 from South Asia to the United Arab Emirates.

There is trafficking of children under 15 going on in the US, and Canada, and other predominately Christian countries.

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2xx1xy1JD
Um, actually, if you're familiar with the sunnah and hadith and if you've studied carefully, Islam is NOT misoginistic. Women were given rights long before Western women. It's culture that is misoginistic.

How do you deal with Chapter 4, verse 34 of the Quran? How has it been historically interpreted?

http://quran.com/4/34

Men are in charge of women by [right of] what Allah has given one over the other and what they spend [for maintenance] from their wealth. So righteous women are devoutly obedient, guarding in [the husband's] absence what Allah would have them guard. But those [wives] from whom you fear arrogance - [first] advise them; [then if they persist], forsake them in bed; and [finally], strike them. But if they obey you [once more], seek no means against them. Indeed, Allah is ever Exalted and Grand.

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Prek teach

Some muslim interpretations regarding spousal abuse:

Regarding the marital relationship: Allah(swt) says in Surah Rum 30, Ayah 21: "And among His signs is this, that He created for you mates from among yourselves that you may dwell in tranquillity with them and He has put love and mercy between your hearts: verily in that are signs for those who reflect." And in Surah an-Nisa, Ayah 19: “and live with them honourably.â€

Furthermore a beautiful description of the closeness of the two spouses can be seen in Surah al-Baqarah, Ayah187, where Allah(swt) says: "they are your garments and you are their garments." Our garments protect our honour and keep us warm and safe - literally this is the role of one spouse to another. What better a description could one find than this?

And the Prophet (sws) said: “And treat women with kindness, and treat women with kindness.†Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 5186; Muslim, 1468. Also: “You never spend anything but you will be rewarded for it, even the morsel of food that you lift to your wife’s mouth.†Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 6352; Muslim, 1628. And: “The best of you is the one who is best to his womenfolk, and I am the best of you to my womenfolk.†Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 3895; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jaami’, 3314. ***And the Messenger of Allah(sws) never hit any of his wives!

Sahih Muslim Hadith 6251 Narrated by Abu Hurayrah

Allah's Messenger (saws) said: ‘Do you know who is a ‘muflis’ (abjectly poor or one who is totally bankrupt)?’ They (the Companions (r.a.) of the Prophet (saws)) said: ‘A ‘muflis’ amongst us is one who has neither dirham with him nor wealth.’ He (the Prophet (saws)) said: ‘The ‘muflis’ of my Ummah would be he who would come on the Day of Resurrection with prayers and fasts and Zakah but (he would find himself bankrupt on that day as he would have exhausted his funds of virtues) since he hurled abuses upon others, brought calumny against others, unlawfully consumed the wealth of others, shed the blood of others, and beat others. His virtues would be credited to the account of one (who suffered at his hand). And if his good deeds fall short to clear the account (of his mis-deeds), then their sins would be entered in (his account) and he would be thrown in the Hell-Fire!’

Advice to a muslim woman:

"If your husband still shows no signs of change, then it is for you to decide whether you want to leave him for good or not. And remember this Sister - you were not created by Allah to be subservient to anyone but Him(swt). By allowing your husband to mistreat you, you are being subservient to him instead. Furthermore, if your husband is praying outwardly, but abusing you at the same time, then clearly he is not praying as he should be praying. If he was, just as a painting beautifies a blank canvas, so would his ibaadah have seaped through his heart purified and beautified his actions. There is no point in turning heads to the east and west in Salaah, when our hearts are full of malice and filth. We must purify our intentions, correct our relations with our Creator and with His creation, only then are worthy of being called Muslims! So not become confused by his 'outwardly actions of praying'.

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latraviata
Some muslim interpretations regarding spousal abuse:

Regarding the marital relationship: Allah(swt) says in Surah Rum 30, Ayah 21: "And among His signs is this, that He created for you mates from among yourselves that you may dwell in tranquillity with them and He has put love and mercy between your hearts: verily in that are signs for those who reflect." And in Surah an-Nisa, Ayah 19: “and live with them honourably.â€

Furthermore a beautiful description of the closeness of the two spouses can be seen in Surah al-Baqarah, Ayah187, where Allah(swt) says: "they are your garments and you are their garments." Our garments protect our honour and keep us warm and safe - literally this is the role of one spouse to another. What better a description could one find than this?

And the Prophet (sws) said: “And treat women with kindness, and treat women with kindness.†Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 5186; Muslim, 1468. Also: “You never spend anything but you will be rewarded for it, even the morsel of food that you lift to your wife’s mouth.†Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 6352; Muslim, 1628. And: “The best of you is the one who is best to his womenfolk, and I am the best of you to my womenfolk.†Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 3895; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jaami’, 3314. ***And the Messenger of Allah(sws) never hit any of his wives!

Sahih Muslim Hadith 6251 Narrated by Abu Hurayrah

Allah's Messenger (saws) said: ‘Do you know who is a ‘muflis’ (abjectly poor or one who is totally bankrupt)?’ They (the Companions (r.a.) of the Prophet (saws)) said: ‘A ‘muflis’ amongst us is one who has neither dirham with him nor wealth.’ He (the Prophet (saws)) said: ‘The ‘muflis’ of my Ummah would be he who would come on the Day of Resurrection with prayers and fasts and Zakah but (he would find himself bankrupt on that day as he would have exhausted his funds of virtues) since he hurled abuses upon others, brought calumny against others, unlawfully consumed the wealth of others, shed the blood of others, and beat others. His virtues would be credited to the account of one (who suffered at his hand). And if his good deeds fall short to clear the account (of his mis-deeds), then their sins would be entered in (his account) and he would be thrown in the Hell-Fire!’

Advice to a muslim woman:

"If your husband still shows no signs of change, then it is for you to decide whether you want to leave him for good or not. And remember this Sister - you were not created by Allah to be subservient to anyone but Him(swt). By allowing your husband to mistreat you, you are being subservient to him instead. Furthermore, if your husband is praying outwardly, but abusing you at the same time, then clearly he is not praying as he should be praying. If he was, just as a painting beautifies a blank canvas, so would his ibaadah have seaped through his heart purified and beautified his actions. There is no point in turning heads to the east and west in Salaah, when our hearts are full of malice and filth. We must purify our intentions, correct our relations with our Creator and with His creation, only then are worthy of being called Muslims! So not become confused by his 'outwardly actions of praying'.

Of course there are contradictions. It seems the early verses are more mellow than the later verses.

Apparantly the last verses are considered to be more important because of the progressive insight.

http://www.islam-watch.org/SyedKamranMi ... -flaws.htm

http://www.jihadwatch.org/2006/10/the-i ... ation.html

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latraviata
Islam, like Christianity, goes through it's good and bad periods. There are definitely predominately Muslim regions of the world going through their own Dark Ages right now. And, of course, fundies want the US to have their own Christian Dark Ages. But I definitely agree that there are a lot of variations of practice driven by culture. Indonesia is predominately Muslim, but their women's badminton doubles team fit none of the the images that most Americans would expect. Short hair, no hijab, short sleeves, shorts. (Oh, and they TROUNCED Australia and South Africa, so far).

Well, good for the badminton ladies.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/22/opini ... rance.html

http://www.npr.org/2012/05/24/153417862 ... christians

http://www.christianpost.com/news/anti- ... 011-66481/

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Sunnichick31

Sorry for the late reply, I've been trying to find/formulate good answers to questions. It's a slow process LOL. Since I am still fairly new to Islam (well, it's been 3 years, but that's nothing compared to my friends who gew up Muslim, and especially nothing compared to people who dedicated their lives to studying Islam) I wanted to make sure that I was giving correct answers especially since some of the questions posed are about controversial topics.

How do you deal with Chapter 4, verse 34 of the Quran? How has it been historically interpreted?

http://quran.com/4/34

Men are in charge of women by [right of] what Allah has given one over the other and what they spend [for maintenance] from their wealth. So righteous women are devoutly obedient, guarding in [the husband's] absence what Allah would have them guard. But those [wives] from whom you fear arrogance - [first] advise them; [then if they persist], forsake them in bed; and [finally], strike them. But if they obey you [once more], seek no means against them. Indeed, Allah is ever Exalted and Grand.

Our Prophet never beat/hit his wives. We are supposed to follow his example, and that is one thing that we certainly should follow. Also, the word that has been translated as "strike" or "hit" has multiple meanings. This website has a decent tafsir (interpretation) about this particular verse.

"beat them or separate them (from you)". If even suspension of sexual relations fails to work, then it is suggested that men use dharb. This word has almost universally been translated here as "beating". Such a translation is supported by some passages in the Qur'an where the word does mean smiting or striking (2:60, 61, 73, 8:12, 50, 7:160 etc). But in many other Qur'anic passages there are other meanings of the word. Thus the word can mean constructing or coining something such as coining mathal or similitude (14:24, 16:75-76, 30:28, 36:27 etc). The word is also used to separate two things. In 20:77 it is used of the splitting of the sea to make a way for the children of Israel to escape and in 57:13 it is used of making a wall to separate the two groups of people in the hereafter. Leaving, withdrawing or taking away is the meaning in 43:5. In 13:17 the word is used of separating truth and falsehood. The word can also mean campaigning or traveling in the land, e.g., for the purpose of trade (2:273, 73:20).

I don't agree with translating the word dharb as beat. I think that translating it as separate makes more sense and therefore it is what I follow.

Off to read/attempt to answer all the other stuff that was posted since the last time I was on here.

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latraviata
Sorry for the late reply, I've been trying to find/formulate good answers to questions. It's a slow process LOL. Since I am still fairly new to Islam (well, it's been 3 years, but that's nothing compared to my friends who gew up Muslim, and especially nothing compared to people who dedicated their lives to studying Islam) I wanted to make sure that I was giving correct answers especially since some of the questions posed are about controversial topics.

Our Prophet never beat/hit his wives. We are supposed to follow his example, and that is one thing that we certainly should follow. Also, the word that has been translated as "strike" or "hit" has multiple meanings. This website has a decent tafsir (interpretation) about this particular verse.

I don't agree with translating the word dharb as beat. I think that translating it as separate makes more sense and therefore it is what I follow.

Off to read/attempt to answer all the other stuff that was posted since the last time I was on here.

Standard answer, I have been attending several fora about this subject and the answers are always the same.

Wrong translation, no understanding of the quran, no religion but culture.

The quran/hadith as much as the bible and all the other fairy tale books a pile of misery, violence, cruelty especially towards women, jews and homosexuals.

http://jacksonsnyder.com/arc/Articles%202002/quran.htm

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Guest Anonymous

I guess it's time to accept that most religious texts and, frankly, most big books (I'm looking at you Moby Dick), have multiple interpretations. They're often contradictory. We pick the version that feels most natural to us, whether we love the text or it or hate it, whether we want to vilify it or glorify it, or something in between. I don't think that it is possible to say that the whole of the Koran is objectively is one thing or the other. It seems to be a question of picking and choosing.

And now that I've finished stating the obvious...

What about the Olympics, eh?

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latraviata
I guess it's time to accept that most religious texts and, frankly, most big books (I'm looking at you Moby Dick), have multiple interpretations. They're often contradictory. We pick the version that feels most natural to us, whether we love the text or it or hate it, whether we want to vilify it or glorify it, or something in between. I don't think that it is possible to say that the whole of the Koran is objectively is one thing or the other. It seems to be a question of picking and choosing.

And now that I've finished stating the obvious...

What about the Olympics, eh?

Well, what about this?

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-33747_162-5 ... -olympics/

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mpheels

As of this morning, Wojdan Shaherkhani will be allowed to compete wearing a hijab. It isn't clear what style she'll wear, but I'm guessing it will resemble those worn by soccer players.

I've been following the story pretty closely because both sides of the disagreement struck me as acting counter to the Olympic spirit. Hijabs have been allowed in Asian judo competitions for a while, and are allowed in other Olympic sports. While there are very real safety concerns for wearing a loose scarf during judo, there are also modified scarves available. Prior to this morning, both sides were refusing to compromise. I'm glad to see they were able to meet in the middle.

I also think the conflict was far more complicated that whether Shaherkhani could wear a hijab or not. There are concerns about her ability to compete safely. She is very new to the sport, and did not actually qualify for the competition. The IOC granted her a special invitation, basically to give the Saudi's a second female athlete. I have seen articles raising concerns that she could be very badly injured because she will be competing with athletes who are much more skilled than she is. She will be the first ever judoka in the Olympics to compete without earning a black belt. I have to wonder if some of the stubbornness on part of the judo federation was an attempt to keep her out of a competition she is clearly not prepared for.

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latraviata
As of this morning, Wojdan Shaherkhani will be allowed to compete wearing a hijab. It isn't clear what style she'll wear, but I'm guessing it will resemble those worn by soccer players.

I've been following the story pretty closely because both sides of the disagreement struck me as acting counter to the Olympic spirit. Hijabs have been allowed in Asian judo competitions for a while, and are allowed in other Olympic sports. While there are very real safety concerns for wearing a loose scarf during judo, there are also modified scarves available. Prior to this morning, both sides were refusing to compromise. I'm glad to see they were able to meet in the middle.

I also think the conflict was far more complicated that whether Shaherkhani could wear a hijab or not. There are concerns about her ability to compete safely. She is very new to the sport, and did not actually qualify for the competition. The IOC granted her a special invitation, basically to give the Saudi's a second female athlete. I have seen articles raising concerns that she could be very badly injured because she will be competing with athletes who are much more skilled than she is. She will be the first ever judoka in the Olympics to compete without earning a black belt. I have to wonder if some of the stubbornness on part of the judo federation was an attempt to keep her out of a competition she is clearly not prepared for.

The stubbornness of the judo federation? Or her father who seriously objected to his headscarf-less daughter?

Or the Saudi government that does not allow (Saudi) female participants without a headscarf in sports.

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