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Qatar women’s basketball team forfeits Mongolia match in hijab dispute

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Female Qatari players on the national basketball team walked away from a match against Mongolia today during the 2014 Asian Games after being ordered to take off their headscarves.

The Qatar Basketball Federation tweeted this afternoon that players wearing hijab were told that it was against International Basketball Federation (FIBA) regulations to wear the headscarf while playing the game.

The rules also prohibit the use hair accessories and jewelry in international competition.

The women refused to remove their scarves, saying it violated their religious beliefs.

Calling the ban unfair, head of Qatar’s women’s sports committee Ahlam Salem Al Mana told Reuters:

“We have to take this stand. We are here to push the international association that all Muslim teams are ready to compete in any competition. We knew about the hijab ban, but we have to be here. We have to show everyone that we are ready to play, but the International Association is not ready.”

In this video, Qatari team officials are shown explaining to Mongolia’s team why they cannot play against them.

The team – about half of which wears headscarves – is then seen walking off the court and preparing to leave the building in South Korea, as concerned fans look on.

Hijab debate

Qatar sent a record 55 female players out of a contingent of 260 athletes to this year’s Asian Games – and not just as window dressing, according to delegation leader Khalil Al Jaber.

Earlier this week, AFP quoted him as saying: “These 55 are not just here to take part but to be among the top places.”

aya majdi

In 2012, Qatar sent its first female athletes to the Olympics in London.

The increasing participation of female athletes from the MENA region has contributed to a long-standing debate about wearing the hijab while playing sports.

According to Reuters, the headscarf has not banned in all sports played during the Asian Games.

FIBA itself said earlier this month that it would relax the rules related to headgear, but an Incheon Asian Games (IAGOC) spokesperson told the news service that he had not yet been informed of any possible changes.

Though Al Mana told media outlets that the team knew about the hijab ban but had been hoping to change FIBA’s mind, some of the players were not clear on the rules.

Qatari player Amal Mohamed A. Mohamed said that she was told that wearing the headscarf would be allowed. Speaking to Reuters, Mohamed said:

“I just don’t understand why we’re not allowed to play with the hijab. I don’t think the hijab is dangerous, and negatively influences the match or other players.

We’ve attended many international competitions in Indonesia and China. Therefore, we will not attend any games in this Asian Games unless the officials change their decision.”

Thoughts?

102 COMMENTS

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Jimjam
Jimjam
7 years ago

It’s probably not for safett of other players but of the hijab-wearer. Less sporting players maybe tempted to use it to grab a player back, and I can imagine that would hurt if they were travelling at speed.

MIMH
MIMH
7 years ago

Well I guess if they don’t like the rules of the competition then they can just leave it…..

Seriously though unless there is a valid safety reason then I don’t understand why they cannot wear it if they choose to. Seems some stupid petty rule to me.

However it seems that these women do no understand Islam very well. Nothing in Islam says women has to specifically wear a hijab so it is wrong to say it violates their religious beliefs. In fact it violates they individual right that they choose to wear a headscarf or maybe you could consider it a cultural thing. Certainly not religious.

aak
aak
7 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

‘If you don’t like the rules..’ .. first thing is to try
to persuade to change the rules and at least let others know that you don’t
agree with the rules or that you would like it changed. And in that they have
done a wonderful job.

If religion says one to dress ‘modestly’.. It is correct to say it violates
their religious ‘beliefs’… The word ‘belief’ is ones understanding and
interpretation… you would see different results when people apply their ‘beliefs’..

MIMH
MIMH
7 years ago
Reply to  aak

Are you working with the government on changing the sponsorship rules with your enlightened approach to rule change?

Your second paragraph is so full of holes you could use it as a basketball net. I see plenty of people coming up with different rules when applying their ‘beliefs’. Shias in Iran are Muslims but apply their belief differently to Sunni Muslims, same with the Islamic state, their version of Islam is very different, ditto the Taliban.

Islam does not prescribe the necessity to wear the hijab, the niqab or any other face covering, it is a cultural not a religious practise. There are plenty of muslim women around the world who do not wear a headscarf and it doesn’t make them any less muslim.

KAM
KAM
7 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

Of course Islam prescribes headcover for women. The Asian Games at first forbade Sikh players to wear their (religious) headgears and when India opposed to the ban, they allowed Sikhs to wear the headgears. Why not for muslim players?

MIMH
MIMH
7 years ago
Reply to  KAM

Can you please quote the passage in the koran that states women must wear head coverings.

desertCard
desertCard
7 years ago
Reply to  salman

• {“And stay in your houses, and do not display yourselves (adornments) like that of the times of Jaahiliyyah (i.e., the pre-Islamic era).”} [Quran, 33: 33]

My fav. Don’t want to see any women on the streets tomorrow.

salman
salman
7 years ago
Reply to  desertCard

Doha news should really monitor the comments better than this. we are in Islamic country and we are Muslims, take the time to learn Islam better or face the consequences. or just stay out of the subject. when looking for meaning in Islam, you should look for it within the context and it should be done in Arabic. people spend their life time studying the Quran and few people here think they are geniuses. I will be happy to report whoever I see insulting the Islam to Capital security. It will make my life easier.

MIMH
MIMH
7 years ago
Reply to  salman

“take the time to learn Islam better or face the consequences”
What does that mean? Are you going to kill me?

desertCard
desertCard
7 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

No I think ME. Should I go to the Capital Police to report this threat against my life?

MIMH
MIMH
7 years ago
Reply to  desertCard

Ah yes, looking back you are right. Sorry I get so many death threats I lose count these days.
You shouldn’t quote parts of the Koran they don’t like, leave out the killing, slave owning and beating your wife, only quote the nice bits.

Guest
Guest
7 years ago
Reply to  salman

One could always try this:

desertCard
desertCard
7 years ago
Reply to  Guest

LOL thats precious!

Anon
Anon
7 years ago
Reply to  salman

Why are you so thin-skinned? You don’t have the right not to be offended. Get used to it. This website is a much needed breath of fresh air, allowing a range of voices and opinions from both inside the country and outside, in a region notorious for its lack of free speech.

fullmoon07
fullmoon07
7 years ago
Reply to  Anon

clap clap

BBCA
BBCA
7 years ago
Reply to  fullmoon07

Clap clap clap clap some more.
Relax Anon Life is good here. but I’m sure ISIS would approve of your strict interpretations.

desertCard
desertCard
7 years ago
Reply to  salman

Do I need to wear my tin foil hat as well?

njulio6
njulio6
7 years ago
Reply to  salman

Control your anger, stand up for your religion and educate people instead of reporting them to the authorities. We share ideas to learn not to go prison.

salman
salman
7 years ago
Reply to  njulio6

lol, not really angry, its just useless to convince people here and I wont waste time trying, whether its about qatar or islam. they are always Pessimistic about any news in Qatar. they are never happy.and its like a trend, everyone hate on Qatar these days. sometimes I wonder why they still living here… the reputation of Dohanews is damaged because of the comment section.
as for hijab, trying to view the versus as vague only means that you don’t understand them. they are not vague in anyway. Hijab is part of the religion, Niqab however is not.

AEC
AEC
7 years ago
Reply to  salman

most comments sections on most news web sites are pretty terrible though – seems to be characteristic of the genre

Mr. B
7 years ago
Reply to  salman

Cheers for the threats! But shutting down free speech doesn’t make you right. It makes you weak.

AEC
AEC
7 years ago
Reply to  desertCard

traffic would be halved 🙂

MIMH
MIMH
7 years ago
Reply to  salman

That is very vague and makes no specific reference to hijab. It has been interpretated by men, (and its always men) to decide on what coverings are appropriate.

KAM
KAM
7 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

Please refer to Sura Annoor, Chapter No.24: Verse No.31.

aak
aak
7 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

Learn to stick to the subject if you really want a
meaningful discussion. The easiest way to scoff someone off is by sarcasm and
intimidation. What to tried to do with the sponsorship question.

Not sure what you are trying to communicate. Take two deep
breaths and focus. Yes.. to the shia’s their religious belief and to the sunni their’s. Same as to the catholic their’s and to the protestant their’s.. who said no?? At least I didn’t in my comments.

I agree there are plenty that do not wear the Hijab. Same as
there are plenty of muslims who don’t fast or pray. That doesn’t make prayer or
fasting a cultural thing does it??

desertCard
desertCard
7 years ago
Reply to  aak

Salman threatens us with reporting to Capital Police. Thats not intimidation?

I read the passages supplied and I still don’t see where it says that women need to wear a head scarf. And if it does it’s pretty cryptic.

But that’s not the issue here is it. the rules are in place to protect the bball players regardless of religion or culture.

One religion always wants the world to change the rules for them but are extremely intolerant of other religions.

AEC
AEC
7 years ago
Reply to  desertCard

What are the capital police?

desertCard
desertCard
7 years ago
Reply to  AEC

I have no idea but I guess he does.

Desert Witch
Desert Witch
6 years ago
Reply to  desertCard

The section advises women to be modest, wear a scarf over your head and cover your bosoms. But it is a snippet with no context as this section does not explain if this should happen only going to a mosque or out in any public environment.
My understanding of what I have read of the Quran and the prophet is that he told Muslim women to cover their heads with a veil as a way of distinguishing them from non Muslims, slaves and prostitutes at a time of great unrest. Then he declared that if anyone hurts a veiled woman they would have to deal with the wrath of his army as he vowed to protect his people. It was a temporary measure as his enemies were threatening him on all sides.
Happy to be corrected if my understanding is wrong.

Knowledge is power.

desertCard
desertCard
7 years ago
Reply to  aak

Some muslims believe sport to be haram. So maybe they shouldn’t be playing.

Chilidog
Chilidog
7 years ago
Reply to  desertCard

You just hit the nail on the head when it comes to the debate about covering with the three words, “some Muslims believe.” I’m no Islamic scholar (as I’m sure I’ll soon be reminded by someone holier than me), but I can see how the verses cited in this comments section could be interpreted in multiple ways (one includes references to a woman’s slaves, so that brings up interesting discussion as well). The same problem of multiple interpretations goes for verses in scriptures of other religions too. So one Muslim believes that sports are OK and that you don’t have to cover. Another believes that sports are haram and that heads should be covered. Which is right? Each could probably point you to verses that support their belief. But what’s in question in the article is a well known and non-ambiguous rule. No one is going to say “some participants believe…” about the rule.

Kingpin
Kingpin
7 years ago
Reply to  Chilidog

Its a pity god is so confusing, i wish he could have been a bit more clear

desertCard
desertCard
7 years ago
Reply to  Chilidog

Exactly

BBCA
BBCA
7 years ago
Reply to  desertCard

I trial your “exactly”. I agree emphatically.

AEC
AEC
7 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

Silly or not I am bit confused that people were not clear on the rules as it is on the FIBA website:
“4.4.2. Players shall not wear equipment (objects) that may cause injury to other players.The following are not permitted: – Headgear, hair accessories and jewellery.” I would have thought the hijab was clearly “headgear” though I fail to see how it would be likely to cause injury to other players.

MIMH
MIMH
7 years ago
Reply to  AEC

My guess is that the headscarf could be pulled by opposing players therefore being a strangulation risk to the headscarf wearer. I understand their point in this, it is not worth risking the life of the players over a cultural issue.

Mohammed Albanai
Mohammed Albanai
7 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

pulled headscarf’s would just come off before they strangle someone to death

MIMH
MIMH
7 years ago

I would hope for sport they were designed in that way to prevent injury. As I have said before I don’t undertand the ban.

desertCard
desertCard
7 years ago

It wraps around their head AND NECK as well. Maybe they could make them out of very thin material almost like paper. But would that be a scandal when the first players scarf ripped and, god forbid, showed her hair? But again that’s not the topic. The rule was, and has been, in place. If they’re making a statement halas they made it. But don’t cry about it when the rules are quite clear. The rule is there to protect the players.

AEC
AEC
7 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

but the rule says “cause injury to OTHER players” not yourself

Chilidog
Chilidog
7 years ago
Reply to  AEC

The injury to the other player comes when the girl’s dad whose head cover you pulled off sends his driver or maid to take revenge…..

Joking aside, I can’t say the rule is the best rule, but it still should be respected as the rule.

Omar Alansari
Omar Alansari
7 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

the same could happen when wearing any shirt. if it was pulled by anyone from the back it would press on the neck and be “life threatening”

AEC
AEC
7 years ago
Reply to  Omar Alansari

The rule clearly states it is regarding risks to others rather than the wearer. I fail to see how a hijab could be a risk to others.

BBCA
BBCA
7 years ago
Reply to  Omar Alansari

but @omaralansari:disqus. They can not very well go out without a shirt can they? Although I think that I would find it very entertaining… but a shirt is essential. But the headscarf…. That is still up for debate. Can the Qatari team be flexible on a cultural issue? if it is indeed a religious issue then the debate must continue because everyone must be afforded “Religious right” Muslim players in the NFL certainly do participate in fasting when necessary. But if this is a cultural issue then Maybe the point was not worth making in an international competition. What if the girls had a chance to win? we will not know…

samisax
samisax
7 years ago
Reply to  BBCA

The headscarf, to the ladies, is as essential (and dangerous) as a shirt. I don’t believe anyone really has the right to decide for anyone else what is essential to be worn. If it’s not more dangerous than anything else on the court, then there shouldn’t be a reason for this ban.

Keeping in mind, that my personal opinion doesn’t really matter, since I’m not on the team or the league or will ever be.

BBCA
BBCA
7 years ago
Reply to  samisax

I respect your thoughts but lets think about this. If I want to participate in a sport or any other activities that are organized and have rules intended for your safety; If i have a true desire to participate then why not follow those rules? You can’t very well have an American Football player that wont wear a helmet. What if Qatari women want to be competitive in sports where the head wrap may actually provide an aerodynamic disadvantage? (example swimming or some precision speed sports) When do you take a serious examination of what is religion an what is culture? How badly do you want to participate and will you be shunned by fellow country men/women because of your decision not to wear. I understand it is not an easy answer for a lot of people but considering the text in the Koran seems extremely subjective and is interpreted differently by regional Muslims of the same sect then I think it becomes more of a personal choice. If you want to participate then individuals should make a decision to comply or not But your decision should not disrupt the games for the many other nations that are participating.

samisax
samisax
7 years ago
Reply to  BBCA

This is simply about the rules not being clear enough to distinguish between dangerous headgear and non-dangerous headgear. The rules weren’t ordained by some deity. They are fallible and are constantly being updated. Why should they have to choose between culture and sport? The sport should accommodate other cultures if it aims to be internationally relevant, or just be played in Europe.

Also, they dealt with it in a legal and civil manner and did not disrupt anyone. They just used an entertainment platform for promoting their rights, which always take priority over entertainment.

Personally, I am against all forms of religion, but that is irrelevant to the discussion. I have no right to impose my convictions on anyone.

BBCA
BBCA
7 years ago
Reply to  samisax

Touche. 🙂

Chilidog
Chilidog
7 years ago
Reply to  AEC

I thought the same thing. To me, it’s kind of like the Qatari woman that was recently in hot water for unlawfully covering her face in Belgium (I’m not defending the Belgian man’s actions, he was definitely out of line). But if the rule is clearly defined then there shouldn’t be surprise and/or indignation. If you don’t agree with the rule, and you have the rights and means to lobby for its change, then do so. Don’t whine about it or pull a publicity stunt.

salman
salman
7 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

it seems like you don’t understand Islam, Hejab is part of the religion and certainly not culture..

Omar Alansari
Omar Alansari
7 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

According to your interpretation it may not be necessary! but for them they have their own opinion and they feel it contradicts with their beliefs ! and it is clearly not up to you to decide!
They did not break any rule! they were simply asked to leave and it is what they did, and media reported the news! that’s all there is . .!

AEC
AEC
7 years ago
Reply to  Omar Alansari

Ahh – technically I think they did break a rule (see 4.4.2 below – “The following are not permitted”). Though it does seem a very silly rule to me.

AEC
AEC
7 years ago
Reply to  Omar Alansari

Were they actually “asked” to leave or did they choose to or had they forfeited too many games by not being able to play? Just wondering. It doesn’t seem that clear from the various media reports.

Chilidog
Chilidog
7 years ago
Reply to  Omar Alansari

You’re right. I don’t think they actually broke a rule because the official didn’t let the game start. He gave them the chance to comply with the rule, but the team chose not to play. I think you’re seeing it through a different lens than everyone else.

Jaded
Jaded
7 years ago

seems harsh, especially if they’ve already taken part in several international competitions and they were told it would be allowed, they must be gutted

AEC
AEC
7 years ago

Qatar versus Mongolia? I’m pretty impressed that they even managed to get teams there!

Observant One
Observant One
7 years ago

Ridiculous. Absolute shame on the officials. Good on the team for making a stand.

Anon
Anon
7 years ago

I don’t see any reason why it would affect their ability to play, so it’s a pretty silly rule, but in the bigger picture, as it’s not a Quranic thing (i’m referring to MIMH’s comments), why oh why in this day and age is covering hair associated with protecting modesty? It’s just hair, maybe it had deep erotic value 1500 years ago, but hello, it’s the 21st century!…..and of course, ironically, I could easily see the shape of their breasts as they played, one would think. The whole covering of hair seems to be yet another outdated meme, just blindly accepted from one generation to the next.

Guest
Guest
7 years ago

Rules are rules. If they dont like it, they can go back home. Dont expect everyone to bend to your will outside of Qatar.

desertCard
desertCard
7 years ago
Reply to  Guest

Next thing you know Qatar will expect the rest of the world to change their soccer league schedules so they can host a world cup.

A_qtr
A_qtr
7 years ago

Doha’s expat community true color stands out from the above comments… I commend Qatar for sending it’s first women basketball team and commend the Qatar women who stood for what they believe in… And shame on the above commentators

Anon
Anon
7 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

OK, now if you’d care to address some of your concerns with the comments, that would be great. Start with mine….what has covering hair got to do with modesty? Why isn’t it just an ancient meme to do with men controlling women?

jarvis
jarvis
7 years ago
Reply to  Anon

It’s a religious thing… and if you can’t respect religion then you might as well leave because that’s a very important thing here. I don’t understand why people don’t even have the capacity to respect and simply tolerate. These are our beliefs and no one’s telling you to apply them, just respect the fact that we will.

MIMH
MIMH
7 years ago
Reply to  jarvis

It’s not a religious directive, it’s a cultural imposition. Big difference.

R_Chow
R_Chow
7 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

I totally disagree with you that it is not a religious thing. And no one has to quote Quran to you, you should go and find out yourself if you are not so adamant to spread lies. But I will give you the reference in case you are too biased to open the Quran. In Chapter 33, Verse 59 it is clearly stated about requirement of hijab and then in Chapter 24, verse 30 it was further emphasized on. Besides there are numerous Hadith clearly emphasizing hear covering. There are no particular emphasize on covering the face. But in any case, the hypocrisy among the commentators here is unbelievable. When it comes to bashing Muslims, I am amazed how brazen certain people get. The article clearly states that the team were aware of this rules, but they were given the impression that this bigoted rule may be relaxed and they also wanted to make a stand for their rights. On one hand the “West” wants the Muslim women to be “liberated” and on the other hand they ban head scarves and put other similar restriction so that these ladies, who strongly believe in it, will choose to not participate in games, etc. that they could otherwise participated. This is so narrow minded.

MIMH
MIMH
7 years ago
Reply to  R_Chow

I believe Turkey was the first major country to ban the headscarf in schools, universities and government buildings and last time I looked Turkey was not in the west.
I am all for freedom of choice if women want to wear the hejab then it is up to them, no one should force them. The same with this story, if they are no justifiable reasons for the ban then they should be allowed to wear it.

AEC
AEC
7 years ago
Reply to  R_Chow

It’s not necessarily a “bigoted” rule. It could just be a silly rule like the one about still being able to shoot welshmen with a bow and arrow in the town square on Wednesdays.

Mohammed Albanai
Mohammed Albanai
7 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

you base this on your years of studying of islamic theology, tafseer of quran, sanad and matan of hadiths?

MIMH
MIMH
7 years ago

I’ve studied many religions, how many Islamic scholars can say the same? (My fav God is Thor, that boy rocks. Quite like Ra as well)

Mohammed Albanai
Mohammed Albanai
7 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

Really? Where did you study? Do you have any degrees?

Actually many islamic scholars study other religions especially the non arabic scholars

Ps: thor is my favourite 2. I look forward to the new marvel comic where they gona turn him into a female

MIMH
MIMH
7 years ago

Yeah, making him a woman that will be different. However I don’t see the Nordic countries rising up in violent protest at a change to one of their Gods. Imagine if the Prophet was recast as a woman in a film…. I dread to think.
I don’t need to have a degree, I can read the various holy texts and also study them in a historical context, archealogy, various contemporay writings. Real evidence. Too many people quote their various holy books as evidence for themselves which is ludicrious. It would be like saying Harry Potter is a real wizard because the books document his sayings.

Mohammed Albanai
Mohammed Albanai
7 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

Perhaps because nordic countries don’t worship thor anymore, just a guess here.
So basically you did your own reading, while that’s good and impressive and all that I wouldn’t classify that as “study” its like me saying I read a law book so now I am qualified to give legal rulings on controversial cases.
Religious books have supernatural/fantasy elements people can believe or disbelieve whatever they feel like but that doesn’t mean all these books (including harry potter :P) don’t have real life lessons. Not to stray from the subject im just saying you hardly seem qualified to make islamic rulings is all

MIMH
MIMH
7 years ago

All books can teach us something!
Maybe I’ll bring back Thor and Odin and threaten to report anyone who doesn’t respect my beliefs… 😉

KAM
KAM
7 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

If it was a cultural imposition, then the pre-Islamic era women must have worn the hijab. To the best of my knowledge no women wore hijab before the revelation of the Holy Qur’An.

MIMH
MIMH
7 years ago
Reply to  KAM

But that is where you are wrong, in the pre-islamic era in Arabia women did wear head coverings as part of the cultural tradition. It was something the early muslims adopted as well.
You need to remember before Mohd, that various Kings of Mecca were Arabs and Jews and within that cultural tradtion the women had headcoverings. Similar to medieval Europe.

Desert Witch
Desert Witch
6 years ago
Reply to  KAM

Wrong. Jewish women wore head scarves.

AEC
AEC
7 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

So is basketball.

desertCard
desertCard
7 years ago
Reply to  jarvis

Then respect the rules of the game as well. It is in place to protect the players in contact sports. And basketball can be a contact sport. Sorry but those are the rules.

AEC
AEC
7 years ago
Reply to  desertCard

Seriously though can you explain to me how someone wearing a hijab is going to injure another player??

Anon
Anon
7 years ago
Reply to  jarvis

And there we have it, the quaint appeal to authority and antiquity, but still a logical fallacy, I’m afraid. Why not try reflecting, just for once, on why certain things are done and then question their continuing relevance? Just passively accepting the status quo retards human development. I maintain that hair-covering is an ancient meme from when men exerted even more control over women as possessions, and is yet another clear example that religion is man-made.

MIMH
MIMH
7 years ago
Reply to  Anon

All religions have absorbed cultural traditions of the socities they inhabited, some have disappered over time and others have continued to be forced on the population. Sauid and Iran are good examples of relgious dictatorships.

jarvis
jarvis
7 years ago
Reply to  Anon

Why do you believe that RESPECT is below you? I believe in what I believe in and I don’t have to justify it to you or anyone else. You have to learn to respect other people’s religions even if you disagree with them; it’s called being a decent human being.

Anon
Anon
7 years ago
Reply to  jarvis

If you believe that women should cover their hair for ludicrously outdated reasons, even if they don’t wish to, I will not respect that, never, and nor should any right thinking individual. I will tolerate religion (reluctantly), but I will never respect it. Don’t make unreasonable demands of me. Respect should be earned; it is optional, we can and should decide for ourselves what we respect.

Desert Witch
Desert Witch
6 years ago
Reply to  jarvis

But surely it is not disrespectful to ask why a religion has a particular rule. Is it not better we ask why and someone explains without anger or threats the reasoning behind the rule which may not be immediately obvious.

Chilidog
Chilidog
7 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

What did they honestly think was going to happen? Let’s assume that those associated with the team knew the rule (without commenting on whether or not the rule has merit, it’s still the rule), because if they didn’t they don’t need to have those jobs. With that in mind I can only see two possibilities for what they expected as an outcome:

1. They knew the rule wouldn’t let them play, but they went anyway just to make a point. This would be a very expensive point to make with all the training, travel costs, etc., but Qatar has money to burn. The story this would generate is part of the strategy to garner support for a rule change. This is what I hope their plan was, as the alternative would be:

2. They knew the rule wouldn’t let them play, but they were hoping that the officials would bend the rules for them. This is how many things in Qatar operate (rules bent because of who you know, how much money you have, or if it’s easier to bend the rule just to get past the hassle of dealing with your request), so I’m not sure if I really blame them for expecting that a rule would actually not be followed down to the letter. It just doesn’t work that way everywhere else in the world. Part way through the YouTube clip a woman in an abaya steps from behind the bench and speaks to the official in pink in a quite animated manner. I wouldn’t be surprised if she can pretty much get whatever she wants in Doha if she addresses someone like that. The system in Qatar has conditioned the team and supporters to expect it. I’ve heard it said that in Qatar “nothing is possible, but nothing is impossible.” Unfortunately for those girls, other countries and organizations don’t always give way so easily. On the video it almost looked like they were hanging around the bench, just waiting for the officials to say, “wellllll, OK, you can play!”

I feel bad for the girls on the team. They’ve worked hard to play basketball at an international level. I don’t know if they were fed the pipe dream that they would be able to play with their heads covered or if they knew they were going to be part of a statement (is there another explanation?). Either way, it’s a drag for them.

AEC
AEC
7 years ago
Reply to  Chilidog

In truth though it’s quite hard to know what went on but the rule is rather silly.

Indifferent
Indifferent
7 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

Agreed. Some of the comments here are disgusting.

Anon
Anon
7 years ago
Reply to  Indifferent

pffft…..false moral outrage. You don’t have the right not to be offended. Nicely ironic username btw…….

desertCard
desertCard
7 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

Thank you for the commendations. Where do I pick up my award?

٩(͡๏̯͡๏)۶
٩(͡๏̯͡๏)۶
7 years ago

If the team’s sole intent was travel to the Asian games to make a stand against the international regulations then that is one thing, but if they spent months training and preparing for the games to then just abandon the match because of a regulation that there were aware of prior to traveling to the games then that just makes no sense to me.

Masboro
Masboro
7 years ago

If I recall correctly one of the common retorts of the ‘Reflect your Respect’ campaign was ‘when in Rome etc.’ I respect absolutely the right of these women to wear whatever they wish (whether for religious/cultural reasons or not) and this demonstrates why tolerance of others is necessary on all sides for different cultures to exist in harmony.

smd
smd
7 years ago

Sports rules are historic and were never written in a prejudice way to discriminate anyone. They fact that people now try and twist and distort facts and always claim that they are being discriminated is starting to sound like a stuck record and is the cause of so many of the problems we face around the world. Flexibility and tolerance must apply in life and the precedent cannot always be that you must change because my belief says so……….This constant complaining and waving the discrimination flag is excessive and is annoying many literal and tolerant people like myself.

Mr Reason.
Mr Reason.
7 years ago

Human rights/women rights are more important than any stupid federation
rules. Well done Qatar for forfeiting the game and standing up for
womens rights.

MIMH
MIMH
7 years ago
Reply to  Mr Reason.

I agree Human Rights and Women’s Rights are more important than religious rules as well.

Mr Reason.
Mr Reason.
7 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

Womens right to choose what she wants to wear (which doesnt harm anyone in any damn way) and is in total harmony with the spirit of the game.

AEC
AEC
7 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

or basketball?

desertCard
desertCard
7 years ago
Reply to  Mr Reason.

How is this “womens” rights?

Mr Reason.
Mr Reason.
7 years ago
Reply to  desertCard

Womens right to choose what they want to wear (which doesnt harm anyone in any damn way). Second womens right to practice what they believe in. Third Womens right to participate in competitions like this without having been stopped from playing for these stupid reason. I can go on and on but I think this should clarify the matter in question.

Chilidog
Chilidog
7 years ago
Reply to  Mr Reason.

So do you think that women should have the right to wear what they want while in Qatar, even if their knees and shoulders might be exposed?

Kingpin
Kingpin
7 years ago
Reply to  Chilidog

Touche

Mr Reason.
Mr Reason.
6 years ago
Reply to  Chilidog

Knowing very well that Muslims take their religion seriously and coming up with an argument saying women should be allowed to wear little (what is considered as moral here in qatar) while in Qatar is absurd. The country is based on religious rules to a large extent and people get offended if they see you not conforming to the religious ethos of the country. How difficult is it to understand.

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