Friday, July 27, 2012

Saudi Olympic athlete hit by judo head scarf ban: Safety or discrimination?

One day after a female Saudi Arabian judo player arrived in London – under strict instructions from national Olympic officials to compete "wearing suitable clothing" that complies with Islamic custom – the International Judo Federation banned the wearing of head scarves Thursday. 

The move was made for safety reasons, said Nicolas Messner, a federation spokesman. Judo involves grabbing opponents' clothing and using choke holds, making the head scarf – or hijab – "dangerous," he added.

Messner told the Associated Press that negotiations are ongoing with the Saudi Arabian delegation to find a compromise. But neither the Saudis nor the athlete, Wojdan Ali Seraj Abdulrahim Shahrkhani, has yet made a statement about whether she will compete. 

Read more: The Christian Science Monitor 


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