Chess player Soumya Swaminathan (29), who holds the title of Woman Grandmaster from Bharat, has pulled out from the forthcoming Asian Nations Cup (Asian Cup) Chess Championship 2018 being held in Iran, as Iranian law makes the headscarf or hijab compulsory for even visiting sportswomen & dignitaries, including non-Muslims.
On her official facebook page, Soumya has written that being forced to wear the headscarf or burkha is a direct violation of her basic Human Rights. She has also criticised organisers and sports officials for organising the tournament in a country that enforces a religious dress code on sportspersons.
Soumya Swaminathan further mentions that representing Bharat is always a huge honor for her but “some things simply cannot be compromised.” On one hand where feminists openly praise ‘Hijab’ as one’s choice, despite it being a religious compulsion, one must applaud Soumya for taking a stand on something that goes against her freedom, religious and cultural choice.
It must be noted that in recent times in Iran, there have been mass protests against the Islamic theocratic government in which some women pulled off their hijab, waving & burning the hijabs to show their frustration with suffocating sharia law.
#Tehran: This woman standing in a busy street WITHOUT her oppressive headscarf.
She's waving a white shawl symbolising the latest Iranian women’s struggle against compulsory hijab
#IranProtests #Iran #IranianProtests pic.twitter.com/rMbPPJjuzM
— Zippy (@princezip) December 30, 2017
In Feb this year, many women protestors in Iran and other parts of the Muslim world took to celebrate #NoHijabDay. Islamic bigots have hardened attitudes to such an extent even in a secular, Hindu-majority country like Bharat that Muslim youth feel emboldened to denigrate the achievements of even an Olympic-medal winning athlete like wrestler Sakshi Malik for ‘exposing her thighs and chest to the world’.
Soumya’s brave act, at a time when Islamic extremism is rising dangerously across the world without much protest from so-called liberals, has garnered applause from various corners –
Every now and then, individual heroes emerge to show the spineless how to stand by their values pic.twitter.com/HU7sYQX3tl— Lavanya ಲಾವಣ್ಯ লাৱণ্যা (@TheSignOfFive) June 13, 2018
Hats off to Soumya Swaminathan for pulling out of this event in Iran.— Mohammad Kaif (@MohammadKaif) June 13, 2018
There should be no scope for religious dress codes to be imposed on Players. A host nation should not be granted permission to host auch international events if it fails to consider basic human rights. pic.twitter.com/soQ9SVHYS6
BRAVERY! Let us support this move to assert her intellectual freedom & challenge the narrow-minded ideologies trying to reduce women to obedient robots. https://t.co/FornA6O7ot— Rajiv Malhotra (@RajivMessage) June 13, 2018
Back in 2016, Bharat’s Heena Sidhu also bowed out of the Asian Airgun Shooting Championship that was held in Tehran, Iran, on account of Iran’s strict dress code for women that involved wearing hijab.
It is really commendable to see these strong, rooted women standing up for their rights and freedom, when the liberal elite have meekly caved in to Islamist forces .
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