21.1 C
Doha
Sunday, March 7, 2021

Qatar women’s basketball team withdraws from Asian Games over hijab ban

-

With reporting by Peter Kovessy

A day after being forced to forfeit a match for refusing to remove their headscarves, the Qatar women’s basketball team has pulled out of the Asian Games altogether.

Yesterday, the women were asked to remove their hijabs prior to a match against Mongolia but refused to do so, saying it violated their Islamic beliefs.

International basketball rules prevent players from wearing head coverings, hair accessories and jewelry during games.

With no signs that the restrictions would be relaxed, the Qatar national team skipped today’s match against Nepal and said it was withdrawing from the tournament, which is being held in South Korea.

The Olympic Council of Asia – which is running the games – criticized FIBA’s decision and said the basketball association was stopping athletes from representing their home countries at international events, according to Reuters:

“The goal of Olympism is to place sport at the service of the harmonious development of humankind, with a view to promoting a peaceful society concerned with the preservation of human dignity.

Any form of discrimination with regard to a country or a person on grounds of race, religion, politics, gender or otherwise is incompatible with belonging to the Olympic Movement.”

FIBA recently announced that it would allow headscarfs and turbans in national matches as part of a two-year trial after reports showed there were no safety issues justifying the ban.

It is unclear whether the team knew they would be asked to remove their hijabs prior to the match.

Basketball player Amal Mohamed Mohamed said they were assured they would be allowed to wear their headscarves, according to the BBC.

However, Ahlam Salem Al Mana – the head of Qatar’s women’s sports committee – told media outlets that the team knew about the hijab ban but had been hoping to change FIBA’s mind.

Local response

FIBA’s stance and the national team’s decision to withdraw from the tournament caused a stir on social media.

Many have taken to Twitter to show their support for the women:

Others have been expressing their disdain towards FIBA:

Previous protests

FIBA has faced criticism multiple times this year over its headgear ban.

During an Asia Cup match held in China this July, two Sikh members of the Indian national team were told minutes before a match to remove their turbans by a referee citing FIBA rules.

Also this summer, the Council on American-Islamic Relations called for the rules to be revisited in a letter to FIBA President Yvan Mainini:

“No athlete should be forced to choose between faith and sport. Muslim women seek to participate in sporting activities should not face artificial and arbitrary barriers to that participation.

The issue of religious attire for athletes can be addressed successfully in a mutually-agreeable manner that maintains the legitimate rights and needs of all parties.”

In both cases, critics noted that other sporting bodies have found ways of balancing the religious beliefs of participants with concerns such as safety.

One of the most high-profile examples is FIFA, which formally lifted its ban on religious head covers in matches earlier this year. Football officials said at the time that hijabs and turbans worn on the pitch should be “basic head covers” with colors matching the team’s jersey.

That followed a 2012 decision that permitted female players to wear a hijab during matches after FIFA’s medical committee found a pair of football hijab prototypes, which uses quick-release velcro fasteners and magnets, posed no threat to safety of participants.

Thoughts?

58 COMMENTS

Subscribe
Notify of
58 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
thedrizzle96
thedrizzle96
6 years ago

Good for them for standing up for their beliefs

AEC
AEC
6 years ago
Reply to  thedrizzle96

Given that they knew what the rules were before they got there (or at least I hope they did) it seems like they were there to protest rather than to play ball or did they expect the rules to be enforced the way road rules are in some places?

thedrizzle96
thedrizzle96
6 years ago
Reply to  AEC

given you know the new laws on cybercrime in Qatar, it seems you should review your comment!

AEC
AEC
6 years ago
Reply to  thedrizzle96

You’ve got me confused. It was a question rather than a comment. I’m not really up on the new laws but if it relates to insults I definitely was not intending to insult. My intent was to question whether there was a genuine belief the rule of “no head gear” would be enforced. Perhaps it wouldn’t have been. If they thought it wouldn’t be then they had good reason to expect to play ball. If they thought it would be then maybe they intended to protest. Personally I don’t see the point of the rule given they say it is intended to stop others getting injured by said head gear.I can’t see how someone who is not wearing the hijab is ever likely to get injured by it.

AEC
AEC
6 years ago
Reply to  AEC

It’s one way to get a rule changed.

Expat Girl
Expat Girl
6 years ago
Reply to  AEC

It does appear to be protest to some extent. If not a protest, then call it an attempt to get media attention, in which I would say mission accomplished. But knowing that the rule exists, and knowing that it is not a NEW rule, then obviously this was (at a minimum) an attempt to shake things up. As for my opinion on this rule, I will keep to myself due to the new law thedrizzle mentioned.

thedrizzle96
thedrizzle96
6 years ago
Reply to  Expat Girl

I mean you sort of already put yourself out with the speculation on it “appearing” to be something or an attempt to get media attention? That’s how I read it, spreading misinformation in any way, can easily turn into “people online are saying it was a protest to get media attention”

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago

I think they should be allowed to compete, it is a nonesense rule but here is the key statement

“The goal of Olympism is to place sport at the service of the harmonious development of humankind, with a view to promoting a peaceful society concerned with the preservation of human dignity.

Any form of discrimination with regard to a country or a person on grounds of race, religion, politics, gender or otherwise is incompatible with belonging to the Olympic Movement.”

Let’s hope the countries of the Middle East abide by this principal in future showing they are the better people than the Basketball association. No bans on Israeli atheletes or teams, no bans on homosexuals or on polictical beliefs.

brorick
brorick
6 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

I agree, but rules are rules. Even in Qatar when you dont like a rule you’re told to leave by the people of this forum. all of a sudden a rule which they have to abide by and its “the rules should change”
The rules should change but its impossible to implement them over night. I think they will be enforced quicker than the sponsorship law that Qatar currently has 😉
What I dont get is, how have these women been competing? did they not know the rules before they turned up?

AEC
AEC
6 years ago
Reply to  brorick

You’d hope so. They’re on the web.

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago
Reply to  brorick

Well to be fair to them they did follow Love it or Leave it’s advice. They didn’t like the rules and they left….

LoveItOrLeaveIt
LoveItOrLeaveIt
6 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

They left with honor, pride, and dignity. Unlike some …

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago

I doubt it, like an expat leaving Qatar you wouldn’t notice and the other competitors wouldn’t care less either.

LoveItOrLeaveIt
LoveItOrLeaveIt
6 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

The Media did, along with millions who read about it.

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago

I didn’t mention the media, just the other competitors. Just like Qatari they are the only ones that count right?

The media went crazy on the French player being held hostage in Qatar by his employer for nearly two years but I bet you didn’t care.

LoveItOrLeaveIt
LoveItOrLeaveIt
6 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

Yes. I also happen to be the guy who cut the line in-front of you the other day with my white Land Cruiser, and you’re an alcoholic atheist Western who cares only about money and how to run away from taxes in his country.

Kingpin
Kingpin
6 years ago

Temper, temper diddums. Next thing you know you will be threatening to stone him.

LoveItOrLeaveIt
LoveItOrLeaveIt
6 years ago
Reply to  Kingpin

I am actually laughing at both of your comments. Enjoy the weekend 😀

desertCard
desertCard
6 years ago

You’re a guy? From your past comments I thought for sure you were a schoolgirl.

LoveItOrLeaveIt
LoveItOrLeaveIt
6 years ago
Reply to  desertCard

The further down your comment is in this hierarchy, the more I am confident that my comments are right on target. Thanks for proving that.
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Graham's_Hierarchy_of_Disagreement.svg

Expat Girl
Expat Girl
6 years ago

I don’t know if you are aware Love it or Leave it, but your comments are almost always in the pink or orange category of your comment hierarchy picture. If you could, at a minimum, get into the green category or higher, then I think others might take your comments a little more seriously.. I would love to hear your viewpoint expressed in a higher category.

LoveItOrLeaveIt
LoveItOrLeaveIt
6 years ago
Reply to  Expat Girl

I am pretty sure and I have been seeing it a lot lately that over 90% of commentators here who debated with me were in the pink or orange category (mostly pink) when I was purely debating the topic itself. Scroll down and you’ll see two good examples. The thing is they can’t take it that people have an opposing view, and that’s when they start losing it. I also like to mention that taking sides with them makes you no different than them. Have a good time down there.

brorick
brorick
6 years ago

they did, so why is anyone complaining?

AEC
AEC
6 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

But this is basketball (FIBA) rather than the Olympics – different set of rules..

fullmoon07
fullmoon07
6 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

and maybe allowing a cross on the church as much as the half moon is allowed on mosques in Europe…it is funny when they speak about rights in countries that don’t really have a knowledge of the word “right”

LoveItOrLeaveIt
LoveItOrLeaveIt
6 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

Let’s hope the Western countries abide by this principle first.

LoveItOrLeaveIt
LoveItOrLeaveIt
6 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

Let’s hope the Western countries abide by this principle first.

fullmoon07
fullmoon07
6 years ago

really? This is nice? You like people to be like this piece of turd?

LoveItOrLeaveIt
LoveItOrLeaveIt
6 years ago
Reply to  fullmoon07

Playing with Israelis is just as fun.

Kingpin
Kingpin
6 years ago

I love the way you log out and upvote yourself as a guest. Its really cute, like an ickle wickle angry guy Backing up his own arguement. Awwwww, aint you sweet.

LoveItOrLeaveIt
LoveItOrLeaveIt
6 years ago
Reply to  Kingpin

I love how the topic is now about me and how no one dared to addressed the substance of the argument. Btw does that even work?

Rob
Rob
6 years ago

What do the beach volleyball team wear?

A_qtr
A_qtr
6 years ago
Reply to  Rob

During the Asian games in Doha the female volleyball teams wore pretty contervisal attire … But in no means were they banned… I remember the finals had a lot of spectators …. Also Israeli athletes have been allowed to compete in Doha before with a raised Israeli flag in aspire park … Can’t remember what sport though

smd
smd
6 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

swimming, but Qatar wanted to remove it, but were forced to allow it

Diego
Diego
6 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

Were the boys on watercraft allowed to harass the beach volleyball games? Too good an opportunity to miss I say.

Observant One
Observant One
6 years ago
Reply to  Rob

Protective gear because the Qatar beaches are so full of litter you dare not.

fullmoon07
fullmoon07
6 years ago

the 2 girls in the picture with uncovered hair are not Qataris right? All Qataris are
Muslims by birth! Than maybe before calling a team “Qatari” they should have Qatari athletes…so good they left. Number 1 thing in international competitions should be that you don’t buy athletes from other countries right? You foster your own talents…..OK, we understood about hijab and how offended they got, we got it too; but still an on-going story? So much talking about hijabs is when there are no real problems?

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago
Reply to  fullmoon07

Sorry no one is muslim by birth, only after indoctrination by parents and preachers do children then get labelled by a religious title. It is like saying a baby is a golfer by birth, pure nonesense.

A_qtr
A_qtr
6 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

Ur a sour puss aren’t you

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

Not really, actually a very positive person. Just like to set the record straight.

A_qtr
A_qtr
6 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

sour puss

Expat Girl
Expat Girl
6 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

MIMH is not a sour puss, he is just stating facts! Human beings are born as just that, human beings. All things that they become is because of their environment (or indoctrination), whether it be religion or golf playing. Don’t be a grumpy butt!! 🙂

thedrizzle96
thedrizzle96
6 years ago
Reply to  Expat Girl

Pretty sure he’s doing the same as he claims others do, trying to indoctrinate people with his own religion, atheism or humanism or whatever it is; it’s like saying you’re human by birth, without knowledge of that word, you’re not human are you, you’re just being, existing. To go further, the word muslim does not denote a religion as it seems to be understood here, but rather as a word definition means one who surrenders to the rules of God, so intrinsically the expression “born muslim” wouldn’t denote being born a religion, but the definition is you’re born believing in God. Something that is believed by many people, but difficult to believe by someone who doesn’t believe in God; conversely with your argument, there is nothing to say you are born without believing in God, or as a blank slate or only as a human without any sort of natural instincts or beliefs without indoctrination, so there you go, stalemate using your own argument.

Expat Girl
Expat Girl
6 years ago
Reply to  thedrizzle96

And thus we get into the very fun “nature versus nurture” argument, which is one I love to discuss and debate with others.

Of course I do not believe a person is born as a blank slate. They are born with natural instincts and predispositions towards certain talents (realization of such talents does require some influence from the “nurture” side). Now, while things like eye color or blood type are clearly factors of “nature”, things like religion, education, language spoken are due to “nurture. Take a baby in Qatar to be raised by a family in China (for instance) the day he is born. He will still have the “nature” induced attributes about him, but he will grow up speaking Chinese not Arabic, he might grow up Buddhist or whatever religion the family has who takes him on.

The point is, sure he will have all “nature” attributes such as his appearance, pre-disposition to certain skills/talents and pre-disposition to certain diseases or cancers. But things like religion, langauge. etc. we are not born with, but rather we are taught or indoctrinated with.

thedrizzle96
thedrizzle96
6 years ago
Reply to  Expat Girl

well it’s not much of a discussion or debate if you just continue to share your opinion and belief, while dismissing others’, to reiterate: someone who is muslim believes you are born with an intrinsic belief of God, the same way you believe people are born with a talent, instinct, eye colour (which by the way changes from when you are born) as you say above. Your opinion or belief that you are born without religion or that religion is an indoctrination, is no more supported than someone who says the opposite, that you are born believing in God and that religion is not an indoctrination, and fail to admit your argument is self-defeating. The example of taking a baby to another country is perhaps at best irrelevant to the “discussion” and at worst patronising, but to give you the benefit of the doubt, I’ll acknowledge that there is no way to know the age group of the commentators

Expat Girl
Expat Girl
6 years ago
Reply to  thedrizzle96

Drizzle – I always try to be respectful when commenting, so if I in any way came across as patronizing, then please accept my sincere apologies.

I myself am a religious person, so I do not disagree with (nor have evidence to prove the contrary to) the concept that babies are born with an intrinsic belief in God. I suppose where you and I disagree is in your thought that a baby is born with a specific religion in his DNA.

My opinion is only that, an opinion. I respect yours, although I don’t agree with it I still enjoy hearing your thoughts. Thank you for the nice discussion.

thedrizzle96
thedrizzle96
6 years ago
Reply to  Expat Girl

That’s more like it, thank you. Although, I’m not claiming that a baby is born with a specific religion in their DNA in my argument, irrespective of my beliefs as well, I was pointing out that being “born a “muslim”” one is not saying they’re being born a religion, but what is being said by that term, muslim, is that you’re born believing in God, following God etc. MIMH has a tendency to confuse opinion as fact, in this case “sorry no one is born a muslim” without demonstrating actual knowledge of what that sentence means, nor further fulfilling the tenants of a good or factual argument. Confusion with the term “muslim” is worth pointing out, as it seems the term is being misappropriated.
I too respect yours and others opinions, and appreciate your comment, it’s easy to confuse opinion with fact and we all do it! (see!)

outdoorsboys
outdoorsboys
6 years ago
Reply to  thedrizzle96

Perhaps people are born believing in God, but their pathway to God may not be via Islam. Islam is the taught element, not the faith

thedrizzle96
thedrizzle96
6 years ago
Reply to  outdoorsboys

We’re discussing the use of the word “muslim” not the word Islam

outdoorsboys
outdoorsboys
6 years ago
Reply to  thedrizzle96

The word Muslim wasn’t correct in my posting, Islam is

thedrizzle96
thedrizzle96
6 years ago
Reply to  outdoorsboys

Which is not in line with this discussion, nor being discussed at this point

fullmoon07
fullmoon07
6 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

you’re very right, but here in Qatar it works this way. Have you met a Christian/Buddhist/Jew Qatari? No! Atheist? There are a few; but they will never tell you. I don’t make the rules….

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago
Reply to  fullmoon07

Yes there are Christian Qataris and quite a number of Shias, but we don’t like to talk about it…..

fullmoon07
fullmoon07
6 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

ahhh that’s another story! 😉

KK
KK
6 years ago

If you do not like the rules than leave.

LoveItOrLeaveIt
LoveItOrLeaveIt
6 years ago
Reply to  KK

They did, now it’s your turn.

KK
KK
6 years ago

I am happy they had to return. Enjoy your cage.

outdoorsboys
outdoorsboys
6 years ago

Firstly, let’s be clear about the reason for the ban on headscarves. It has nothing whatsoever to do with preventing religious expression, or a culture clash. It is for the safety of the players. Wearing a length of fabric draped around the skull and throat is very dangerous for the players involved, and for such sports, I think the decision is right. It surely cannot be beyond the sporting bodies of Muslin nations to design a suitable head-covering which is acceptable to the player’s sense of cultural modesty yet means they don’t risk a broken neck. Not that long ago, Muslim women would have been expected to wear clothing which concealed the form, this has developed into simply covering skin and wearing loose shirts.
Interpretation of modesty is simply preventing women from taking part, yet it seems fine for men to expose legs and arms and heads- why is that?

Related Articles

- Advertisment -

Most Read

Msheireb Doha Downtown responds to backlash over restroom sign

0
Msheireb Doha Downtown management has taken down a restroom sign that has criticised online. A sign from toilet facilities in Msheireb Doha Downtown (Msheireb) sparked...

Subscribe to Doha News below!

To be updated with all the latest news, offers and special announcements.