Sports under the veil

Alvina Ledru
(Originally published in French, automatically translated as below by google)
Officially announced at a press conference organized by FIFA Thursday, July 5, the re-raise controversy. Is it necessary or not to allow headscarves in official sports competitions? The IFAB, the only governing body FIFA allowed to change the rules of play, has positioned itself in favor of such a decision. The discussion was launched by the Prince of Jordan, Member of the Executive Committee of FIFA, Ali Bin Al Hussein and the AFC, the Asian Football Confederation. "The veil is a cultural symbol than a religious symbol" chanted the AFC on its website. But until then forbidden, the referees were instructed not to start a game if veiled women were on the ground. Evidenced by the Iran-Jordan game in which Iranian women were declared losers, decision caused by their refusal to remove their veils. But on July 5, the prince and the AFC have won the case. "The FA Board agreed unanimously to approve - a temporary basis for a trial period - the headscarf. The design, color and materials permitted will be defined and confirmed after the annual meeting of the IFAB working in Glasgow in October 2012 "indicates the IFAB in its press release.
Yet, in its rules, FIFA clearly indicates that "the basic compulsory equipment must not have any political, religious or personal." She has been able to circumvent the problem by considering the hijab as a "cultural artifact, not religious."


Regression or breakthrough? Opinions differ. Especially because the stadiums are supposed to be places of political and religious neutrality. Some say they are shocked. Especially given backgrounds in sports history, including the Olympic Games. In 1968, Mexico City, two black American athletes, Tommie Smith and John Carlos were excluded for life for having expressed their support for the movement of Black Panthers. More recently, in 2008 during the Beijing Olympics, the French delegation has been denied the right to wear a badge on which was inscribed "To a better world", wishing thereby to show its support for the Chinese people. If these actions were not tolerated, how the veil can it be?
Annie Sugier, president of the League of Women's International Law, explains his views in a statement. "Thus, under the guise of compassion for the situation of women in some countries, prevented from participating in sports competitions, it meets the requirements of Islamic regimes who want to perpetuate the sport through the stigmatization of women's bodies" before continuing "And we endangers women in Muslim countries trying to resist respecting the universal rule. "Indeed, some Muslim women were positioned against the veil. Among the best known, the Moroccan Nawal El Moutawakel, the first Muslim African woman to win a gold medal at the Olympic Games in Los Angeles. Or Algerian Boulmerka, the first Algerian to win a gold medal at the Barcelona Games. "As surely it is impossible to go to the mosque, it is impossible to run in hijab" she told the Nouvel Observateur in January 1995.
"The Islamic veil is entering the stage with the approval of International Sports Movement and national mockery of its own neutrality rule of sport" Lesbian Feminist Collective denounces Ba Ham in a statement. Linda Fariman, 18 years old then, and flag bearers for Iran, is the first veiled woman to appear at an opening ceremony. We are in 1996, during the Atlanta Olympics. Since, even if the cases are few, more and more women compete with the veil. The president of the association Neither Whores nor Submissive, Asma Guenifi, interviewed by ParisMatch.com indignantly: "This is a regression extraordinary for us all. This is an apartheid between men and women, but even more between women and men. Between veiled women and others. We are outraged by this decision. " A demonstration is also scheduled July 25 in London to voice their opposition to this decision. While these associations denounce this choice, some highlight the progress it would.


"Paradoxically, even if it does not please me at all on the merits, it avoids that some women are forced not to practice sports, and it's a good thing," said the former Sports Minister Chantal Jouanno to micro RMC. Several delegations had hitherto forbidden to send women on the grounds that the sportswear were not adapted to the culture of Muslim countries. But since the veil is tolerated, previously reluctant delegations decided to take the plunge. Qatar sends three women, Bahiya Al-Hamad choisiz to be the flagship of the country. Saudi Arabia will be represented by a judoka and an athlete, and Brunei by its hurdler, Maziah Mahusin. This is the first year that all delegations have included women in the Games.
Sertac Sehlikoglu, author of the blog "Muslim Women in Sport" and questioned by Parismatch.com, welcomes "It's a political statement very positive, especially since the sport became a tool of empowerment for women. And FIFA does not neglect the emancipation of women veiling. " It also highlights the influence of such an act: "I think FIFA has taken a step towards positive change, and this will definitely influence the attitudes of Islamic countries towards Olympic sports. "She has launched a campaign," # IranianFemaleOlympiansRighttoUnveil "to withstand Iranian women at the London Games. If the controversy swells in France, the FFF has however set the record straight for the French sports: the veil will not be permitted on the land. They will therefore follow the example of Miriam Soumare, sprinter who wears the veil in life, but not on the slopes.