Female Saudi judoka WILL fight in a hijab... agreement reached with Olympic officials to allow her to wear headscarf in competition. Your thoughts...

Chaya2010 2012/07/31 15:30:47
Great it frees Saudi women to compete.
They don't deserve special treatment.
Respect their religious and cultural beliefs.
Those misogynistic Saudi Clerics must be having a heart attacks.
Here's what I think..
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  • Wodjan Shaherkani will compete in judo after an agreement is reached on with International Judo Federation on the kind of headscarf she can wear
  • The 16-year-old +78kg judoka had been told last week by the IFJ that she would not be allowed to compete in Islamic-compliant dress
  • Decision comes as debate heats up in Saudi Arabia over whether female athletes should have been included in the country's Olympic team
  • Shaherkani and teammate Sarah Attar - the first women to represent the kingdom at any Olympics - were included after pressure from the IOC

  • A female Saudi Arabian judoka will be allowed to compete in the Olympics while wearing her hijab, it has emerged.

    Wodjan Shaherkani's participation in the London 2012 Games had been in doubt after the International Judo Federation said she needed to remove the head scarf for her match.

    But Saudi Olympic Committee (SOC) spokesman Razan Baker announced yesterday that the IJF had relented its stance after negotiations between officials, clearing the way for Shaherkani to fight on Friday.

    yesterday ijf relented stance negotiations officials clearing shaherkani fight friday

    She and teammate Sarah Attar, the kingdom's first ever female Olympic competitors, have both signed agreements agreeing to compete only in kit that 'sticks to Islamic principles,' Ms Baker told CNN.

    The decision comes as the inclusion of female athletes for the first time ever in the Saudi Olympic team has prompted a heated reaction among hardliners in the oil-rich Middle Eastern state.

    Some conservative Islamists have denounced Attar and Shaherkani as shameless 'whores', but many other Saudis have praised them as trailblazers for the progress of women's rights.

    The decision to allow Shaherkani, 16, to compete dressed in Islamic-compliant clothing threatens now to intensify that quarrel. She had said she would refuse to compete in the +78-kilogram judo category if she was banned from wearing a hijab.

    Saudi newspapers reported that she had telephoned her father to say she would withdraw from the Olympics if she was forced to compete uncovered.

    The president of the IJF Marius Vizer, said last week that Shaherkani would have to fight without a hijab to comply with 'the principle and spirit of judo'.

    The IJF's regulations for the Olympic Games state that no headgear can be worn, and the federation had said there could be a danger to fighters if a hijab is inadvertently used for an otherwise legal strangulation grip.

    But Ms Razan said yesterday that, after negotiation between the SOC, the International Olympic Committee and the IFJ, an agreement had now been reached on an acceptable form of headscarf.

    'They agreed on a design and she will compete wearing this design,' Ms Baker said, adding that she did not know how this design looked.

    agreed design compete wearing design ms baker adding design looked

    agreed design compete wearing design ms baker adding design looked

    Conservative Muslim clerics in Saudi Arabia oppose women's sport, arguing that it is immodest and against their nature.

    That view was reflected in Twitter postings, including one under a hashtag that would translate as 'Olympic_Whores'.

    'One should not hesitate to describe their participation as shameful and a great sin,' Khaled Al Jabri, whose Twitter profile listed him as a Saudi from Jeddah, wrote in one of thousands of postings on the subject.

    'Whores of the Olympics ... They want to run so that they intentionally fall down and reveal [their figures],' said a tweeter using the name mloven2100, another Saudi.

    But supporters of the athletes hijacked the hashtag to post messages in their defence.

    'I'm proud of Saudi women's participation in the Olympics,' wrote Fahad Al Enzi, a member of a prominent Saudi tribe whose profile listed him as from Riyadh.

    A woman who identified herself as Safaa, a Saudi, tweeted: 'Women walking behind the Saudi delegation is historic. Next we'll be carrying the flag and walking side by side, equal.'

    Competing in the Olympics is such a huge step for women in Saudi Arabia, they are happy to abide by the strict caveats laid out by their country's leaders.

    These include dressing modestly, being accompanied by a male guardian at all times and never mixing with men during the Games, Prince Nawaf bin Faisal told the Al-Jazirah newspaper.

    Saudi sportswomen may only take part if they do so 'wearing suitable clothing that complies with sharia' (Islamic law) and 'the athlete's guardian agrees and attends with her', he said.

    'There must also be no mixing with men during the Games,' he added.

    'The athlete and her guardian must pledge not to break these conditions,' he said.

    It comes after months of talks - with Saudi Olympic chiefs at one point insisting no women would be allowed to take part.

    IOC president Jacques Rogge described their entry, confirmed by the Saudi Arabian Olympic Committee ahead of the July 9 deadline, as 'very positive news'.

    He said: 'The IOC has been working very closely with the Saudi Arabian Olympic Committee and I am pleased to see that our continued dialogue has come to fruition.

    'The IOC has been striving to ensure a greater gender balance at the Olympic Games, and today’s news can be seen as an encouraging evolution.

    'With Saudi Arabian female athletes now joining their fellow female competitors from Qatar and Brunei Darussalam, it means that by London 2012 every National Olympic Committee will have sent women to the Olympic Games.'

    brunei darussalam london 2012 national olympic committee women olympic games

    Qatar and Brunei, two other countries that have never sent any female athletes to the Olympics, are also including women on their teams for the London Games.

    With the Saudis now following suit, it means all national teams competing in the games will include female athletes for the first time in Olympic history.

    About 10,500 athletes are expected to compete in London, representing more than 200 national Olympic committees.

    10500 athletes expected compete london representing 200 national olympic committees

    Saudi Arabia has been under pressure from the International Olympic Committee and human-rights groups to include women athletes.

    The IOC has been in negotiations with the Saudis for months on securing the participation of women.

    They said the two Saudi athletes were entered by the Saudi Arabian Olympic Committee by the official deadline of July 9.

    Rights groups hailed the decision as a step forward for Saudi women in their quest for basic rights in a country that severely restricts them in public life.

    'It's an important precedent that will create space for women to get rights and it will be hard for Saudi hardliners to roll back,' said Minky Worden of the New York-based Human Rights Watch.

    In the Saudi city of Jeddah, Mariam Alawi, a housewife in her 20s, said: 'This is fantastic news and it's about time. Maybe now people in Saudi can see that females are capable of taking the reins. The world already knows that women can do great things - maybe now Saudi can know that too.'

    Hashim Adnan, a 28-year-old Saudi man who works at an investment firm in Jeddah, said the athletes were likely to face 'heavy criticism' in the country, but that the government should support them.

    Saudi King Abdullah has a reputation as a cautious reformer and supporter of women's rights. Last year he announced plans to allow women to vote in municipal council elections and join the consultative Shoura council.

    The country's official sports body, the General Presidency of Youth Welfare, only caters to male athletes and women do not take part in sports at state schools. So women athletes have to fund themselves and arrange their own training, mostly abroad.

    A Saudi official told Reuters earlier this month Saudi women participating in the Olympics would have to obey the dress code of Islamic law. He did not elaborate, but other conservative Muslim countries have interpreted this to mean a headscarf, long sleeves and long pants.

    Saudi Arabia is one of three countries, alongside Brunei and Qatar, never to have sent female athletes to the Olympics but the latter two confirmed earlier this year that their delegations would include women.

    Brunei has entered Maziah Mahusin (athletics), while Qatar has entered Nada Arkaji (swimming), Noor Al-Malki (athletics), Aya Magdy (table tennis) and Bahiya Al-Hamad (shooting), who will also be her country's flagbearer at the opening ceremony.

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    • DuncanONeil 2012/07/31 22:09:05
      Here's what I think..
      A head scarf is not what most people think of as a Hijab!

      2. the traditional dress code of Muslim women, calling for the covering of the entire body except the face, hands, and feet: to observe the hijab.
    • Chaya2010 DuncanO... 2012/07/31 22:12:51
    • Rusty Bubbles 2012/07/31 15:57:14
      They don't deserve special treatment.
      Rusty Bubbles
      LMAO~!.............Picture Time, Everyone say "CHEESE"

      lmao picture cheese
    • Chaya2010 Rusty B... 2012/07/31 16:10:19
    • Scott 2012/07/31 15:43:12
      Here's what I think..
      Wow, this chick can't catch a break.

      She comes from a place that doesn't believe she should participate in the sport, so no matter what happens she will be loser in the eyes of her countrymen.

      Is she so new to the sport that she wasn't aware of proper dress to participate? Why does the rest of the world have to bend to HER wishes? Why can't she comply with the rules like everyone else. Oh yeah, she's Muslim.
    • Chaya2010 Scott 2012/07/31 16:09:07
    • Dion Pr... Scott 2012/08/02 16:09:54
      Dion Prince
      and what is the issue exactly? she is an olympic level athelete who is also observing her religious views. the headscarf does not give her any added advantage. so being allowed to do so does not have anything to do with her gettin preferential treatment.
    • Chaya2010 Dion Pr... 2012/08/03 01:31:42
      Potentially a disadvantage and no she's not "observing her religious beliefs" - its cultural. Do get your facts straight.
    • Dion Pr... Chaya2010 2012/08/03 02:20:30
      Dion Prince
      no, its religious, so PLEASE stfu istead of showing your ignorance to the world by arguing with a person who studied theolgy in college and was raised as a muslim
    • Chaya2010 Dion Pr... 2012/08/03 03:50:05
      You'd know more than Hafiz I presume? [...]
    • Dion Pr... Chaya2010 2012/08/03 12:21:41
      Dion Prince
      I know more than you and that is all that matters here
    • Chaya2010 Dion Pr... 2012/08/03 12:38:34
      I forget more than the sum and total of your knowledge!
    • Dion Pr... Chaya2010 2012/08/03 14:31:21
      Dion Prince
      perhaps... just not on the subject of islam
    • Chaya2010 Dion Pr... 2012/08/03 17:59:02
      What postage stamp is that ARAB?
    • Dion Pr... Chaya2010 2012/08/03 18:22:30
      Dion Prince
    • Scott Dion Pr... 2012/08/03 17:16:50
      I don't know Dion. Perhaps you might want to ask your question to the Olympic judges that make that decision. Did her religious views disable her to get the matter cleared up before making the trip to the Olympics? Or did it make better press if she made a scene in London?
    • Dion Pr... Scott 2012/08/03 17:30:41
      Dion Prince
      what scene are you refering to. I hardly think that going before the commitee with a formal request can be considered making a "scene"
    • Scott Dion Pr... 2012/08/03 17:50:24
      Well the whole thing made the news didn't it? The whole world now has heard her complaint. She had the world as a stage for her sob story. THAT'S the scene.
    • Dion Pr... Scott 2012/08/03 18:22:03
      Dion Prince
      the whole world knows of it because she is the one of only 2 saudi women ever to compete in the Olympics.
      she is in the news because she made history.
    • Scott Dion Pr... 2012/08/03 18:31:38
      Did they let her compete with a horse blanket over her? Or did she comply with the rules?

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