Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Hijabs and the Olympics

Saudi judo competitor Wojdan Shaherkhani (left) arrives with her father at Heathrow airport in preparation for the London Olympics.

"Hijab outlawed: Saudi judo competitor refused permission to wear head scarf" (SMH 27/07/2012)

What should have been the article: Celebrating the fact that women for the first time are competing from Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Qatar.
Instead ... we get this, fuelling sentiment that Hijabs are not welcome even on the international arena.

I understand that it is in relation to safety, but it's the way it is phrased and presented.
Why cant the Olympics be inclusive and allow her to wear what Cathy Freeman wore when she ran in 2000?
Some women go to great lengths to maintain their right to wear a Hijab and cover their head and then on the international stage for the Olympics there is no alternative? Must they choose either to expose their head or not participate? It's not very in the spirit of accepting all athletes to the Olympic Games!!


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