In March 2017, Iran is hosting the Women’s World Championship of Chess, and the female players are being forced to wear the hijab if they want to compete.
What I’d like to know is why the heck are we honoring a country that oppresses women, with a world Chess championship? A country that executes homosexuals and child criminals? A country that will arbitrarily arrest and jail foreigners without reason, and sometimes execute them?
Chess’ governing body, FIDE (Fédération Internationale des Échecs), has come under criticism for its decision to host the tournament in Iran and was accused of failing to stand up for women’s rights.
English chess champion Nigel Short tweeted that the FIDE was flouting its own statutes against sex and religious discrimination.
The body’s Commission for Women’s Chess defended the move, calling on participants to respect “cultural differences”.
Apparently, there are some competitors who are saying they will boycott:
US Women’s Champion Nazi Paikidze also expressed her frustration that she would “have to miss her first Women’s World Championship for many reasons” and tweeted a link to the US State Department’s warning about American citizens still being at heightened risk of arrest.
The Georgian-born champion told The Daily Telegraph: “It is absolutely unacceptable to host one of the most important women’s tournaments in a venue where, to this day, women are forced to cover up with a hijab.
“I understand and respect cultural differences. But, failing to comply can lead to imprisonment and women’s rights are being severely restricted in general.
“It does not feel safe for women from around the world to play here.”
She said she felt “honoured” to qualify for the event but that she was unlikely to attend.
Carla Heredia, from Ecuador agrees.
The former Pan American champion, Ecuadorian Carla Heredia, agreed with Ms Paikidze, telling the newspaper: “No institution, no government, nor a Women’s World Chess Championship should force women to wear or to take out a hijab”.
But there are others who don’t have a problem with being forced to wear a headscarf.
.. Hungarian Grandmaster Susan Polgar said in a statement that she would have “no issues with wearing a headscarf as long as it is the same for all players”.
She said: “When I visited different places with different cultures, I like to show my respect by dressing up in their traditional style of clothing . No one asked me to do it. I just do it out of respect.”
Perhaps we should force hijab-wearing women coming to the U.S. to remove their head coverings because it doesn’t jibe with our Western culture.
Shame on the FIDE for even thinking of holding the competition in Tehran!
Source: The Independent UK