Banning Hijab will discourage Saudi women from participating in the Olympics

Saudi Arabia has been under pressure from the International Olympic Committee and human-rights groups to include women athletes. It took months of negotiations with the Saudi Gov to finally approve the participation of women, under certain conditions, one is they have to obey the dress code of Islamic law. Later on, the International Judo Federation ruled that Shaherkani “will fight according to the principle and spirit of judo, so without a hijab.” This cultural and religious clash might pressure Saudi Arabia to pull out Wojdan Shaherkani, who is to compete in the +78kg judo category from the Olympics and this eventually will also discourage Saudi women from participating in the Olympics in the future. Shaherkani is due to compete in the women’s heavyweight tournament next Friday, but her participation could now be in doubt. The contraversiary is not only over wearing Hijab but also the fact the Wojdan is not a certified black belt, a stature required by Olympic regulations. The Saudi ladies have been called prostitutes of the Olympics / whores of the Olympics in a hashtag on twitter and most Islamic clerics and Shaikhs has stated that they are against Saudi women participation in the Olympics. I can tell that Saudi men are apparently not ready yet to welcome women in Sports as the two women marched behind the men, instead of walking side by side. Nevertheless, the two Saudi athletes appeared happy, smiling and waving to the crowd. a

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