Respect for Women wearing Hijab at Olympics

Extract of an article from the Guardian by Naomi Alderman

The Greeks, as we all know, used to compete in the original Olympic games stark naked and smothered in olive oil. That’s no longer the fashion – because we have different cultural ideas about what parts of the body are suitable for public display – and, in fact, some women have taken the trend for Olympic modesty one stage further. This year, several women, including Egyptian fencer Shaimaa El Gammal and Bahraini sprinter Rakia Al Gassra, will be competing wearing the hijab.

I suppose that as a good liberal feminist I ought to be appalled by this, seeing it as a symbol of patriarchal oppression. In fact, I find I rather admire these women.

I am appalled by the fact that some countries, including Saudi Arabia, have sent male-only teams to the games. But for these women, combining their religious beliefs with their athletic ambitions, I have nothing but respect.

A lot of rubbish is talked about the hijab. Since France banned girls from wearing them in schools in 2004, there has been a steady stream of media stories and comment suggesting that Britain should do the same. Feminist friends tell me that the headscarves are a symbol of female subjugation, a way to deal with male lust by forcing women to cover up, and that as such, they should not be tolerated in a gender-equal society. The women who wear them, they say, have been pressured into it by their communities.

Well, yes and no. We all wear the kind of clothes we wear partly because of social pressure – and our own culture still says, for example, that it is more acceptable, and less sexual, for men to walk down the street topless than it is for women. Many patriarchal religions do indeed hold highly disturbing views about women, which should be challenged, but we should confront those ideas via education and debate, not by forcing young women to reveal parts of their bodies they would rather keep covered. If women say that they want to wear a headscarf, I’m afraid we have to take them at their word. What could be more anti-feminist than telling women that they don’t really know what they think?

12 thoughts on “Respect for Women wearing Hijab at Olympics”

  1. Salam Alaikum

    I am sorry but this might be off the subject..
    What if you can not wear a hajab and still have the purity in your heart to not lie,gossip or do any bad sins.

    Will God forgive you?

  2. Assalamu Alaikum…

    This is a reply to: Halema..

    As a Muslim, we should know what are our responsibilities…

    “Verily, Allah (SWT) has ordered that the good and the bad deeds be written down. Then He explained it clearly how (to write): He who intends to do a good deed but he does not do it, then Allah records it for him as a full good deed, but if he carries out his intention, then Allah the Exalted, writes it down for him as from ten to seven hundred folds, and even more. But if he intends to do an evil act and has not done it, then Allah writes it down with Him as a full good deed, but if he intends it and has done it, Allah writes it down as one bad deed”.[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

    Allah knows best!

    1. Firstly, Try and be a good example and role model for them and remind them gently and with wisdom of the requirements of dressing modestly in Islam.
      Make lots of sincere dua to Allah that He guides them to realising the error of their ways just as He has guided you.

  3. JAZAKALLAH,

    IT IS THE NEED OF THE DAY AND IF ANY ONE WILL NOT FALLOW THE RULE OF ISLAM WILL FACE MANY PROBLEM IN THEIR DAY TO DAY LIFE.
    ALLAH HAMAY AMAL KE TOUFEEQ ATA FERMAY.
    AMEEN.

  4. AS SALAM ALAIKUM WA RAHMATULLAH WA BARAKATAHU…..MY EARNEST REQUEST TO ALL MUSLIM SISTERS TO DRESS MODESTLY…BUT ALONG WITH UR DRESSING PLEASE DO NOT FORGET THAT UR CHARACTER REFLECTS UR TRUE RELIGION..I PRAY TO ALLAH THAT WE ALL FOLLOW THE SUNNAH WAY OF OUR BELOVED PROPHET(SAW)… WE HAVE TO BE GUIDELINES FOR OUR CHILDREN SO THAT EVERY GOOD DEED PERFORMED BY THEM WILL GIVE US ONE SAWAAB WHEN WE OUR IN OUR GRVES…MAY ALLAH BLESSING AND MERCY BE UPON ALL OF US.
    AMEEN.

  5. Thank u to the lady who had the courage to write this . It seems to me that she is not a Muslim, but one who is searching for the truth. Allahhu Akbar! Inshallah she will become a Muslim. It will be from the ladies who showed true Islam.
    I think Muslim women who hold high position should always show true Islam, for example a hijab. When I moved to a new school, I was kind of nervous wearing my hijab wondering what they would do to me or my kids. WELL, it turned out they love me;) and I was caught by surprise when they told me” I never met a Muslim, why do we always believe the media?” they also thought that we were all fom Islamabad!! So far I am the only Muslim woman that is in te district but heard of some coming soon!! I’m glad I opened their eyes in a respectful way to me and Islam:)

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