Skip to comments.Indian chess star says no to headscarf, pulls out of event in Iran
Posted on 06/13/2018 1:48:05 PM PDT by Jyotishi
Former world junior girls' champion Soumya Swaminathan has pulled out of the Asian Team Chess Championship, to be held in Iran
Swaminathan cited the Islamic country's "compulsory headscarf" rule as violation of her personal rights
In 2016, Indian shooter Heena Sidhu had withdrawn from a meet in Iran citing the same reason
PUNE: Woman Grandmaster and former world junior girls' champion Soumya Swaminathan has pulled out of the Asian Team Chess Championship, to be held in Hamadan, Iran, from July 26 to August 4, calling the Islamic country's "compulsory headscarf" rule violative of her personal rights.
"I do not wish to be forced to wear a headscarf or burqa. I find the Iranian law of compulsory headscarf to be in direct violation of my basic human rights, including my right to freedom of expression and right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. It seems that under the present circumstances, the only way for me to protect my rights is to not go to Iran," the 29-year-old, who is India No. 5 and world No. 97 among women, posted on her Facebook account.
Earlier, in 2016, top Indian shooter Heena Sidhu had withdrawn from the Asian Airgun meet in Iran citing the same reason.
'No place for an enforceable religious dress code in sports'
Soumya said that when she first gave the nod to be a part of the Indian team, the host country was to be Bangladesh and the dates were different. "But once the new dates and new venue came up, I excused myself," she added. When asked if the All India Chess Federation (AICF) should have protested against the decision to allot the tournament to Iran, Pune girl Soumya told TOI: "I can't expect everyone to be of the same opinion as me. It's subjective issue."
However, in her Facebook message, Soumya blasted the officialdom. "I am very disappointed to see that player's rights and welfare are given little importance while allotting and/or organising official championships," she wrote.
"I understand the organi-D Harika and Padmini Rout competed in that event."
Among other chess players, Ukraine's Muzhychuk sisters, Anna and Mariya, have been vocal about human rights and gender equality and have refused to play premier tournaments in Saudi Arabia. The champion team from the Iran event will qualify for the World Team Chess Championship. Iran is also scheduled to host the open Asian Team championship concurrently.
Bharat Singh Chauhan, All India Chess Federation honorary secretary, did not respond to requests for comment.
Soumya's Facebook post received hundreds of comments, majority of them appreciating her brave stance.
The details of remaining members in the five-member women's team are sketchy.
American chess player Nazi Paikidze also refused to play the knockout World Championship in Tehran, Iran, last year over the same issue.
You can hide a tiny microphone in your ear, hidden from view by the headscarf, and you can take instructions from a nearby chess computer watching the game via someone’s iphone.
I would be against all headscarves in chess. Even voluntary ones.
Perhaps such events should be held in civilized nations, and not in Muslim ones.
good for her...hopefully, the decent civilized citizens of Iran will regain their Persian heritage and become a peaceful and prosperous nation...
Good. Don’t give in to the gutter religion.
I suggest reading “Midnight Furies” (not just you kind OP, but, all).
The Hindu/Islam conflict makes the Israeli/Islam conflict look like a mild disagreement.
[ You can hide a tiny microphone in your ear, hidden from view by the headscarf, and you can take instructions from a nearby chess computer watching the game via someones iphone.
I would be against all headscarves in chess. Even voluntary ones. ]
You forgot that when you are accused of cheating and they want to check under the scarf you can cry racism and get away with it all!
[ I suggest reading Midnight Furies (not just you kind OP, but, all).
The Hindu/Islam conflict makes the Israeli/Islam conflict look like a mild disagreement. ]
Islam has killed tens if not HUNDREDS of MILLIONS in INda over the last 1,000 years....
If India was never invaded by slam, there would be a LOT more Hindus in the world...
Sharia scams don’t work on the previously oppressed!
Who gets to decide to have them in Iran?
They need to be exposed and forced to answer for it.
You know they’d do this to Trump or Republicans. Turnabout’s fair play.
She should identify as a man during the chess meet.
Alas our silly media never give REAL feminist heroes like this the time of day.
When I was in Iraq not one visiting reporter - including many a feisty female - gave a rat’s ass about how women were treated there. Actual, systematic paedophile rape as part of the local Islamic custom? Who cares?
They were more interested to know if any of their neighbors were Sgt Calley-stylized search and destroy rapist monsters.
It’s only “women’s rights” for America when it comes to piercing baby skulls with scissors and sucking fetus brains here and there with vacuum cleaners.
Good for her!
A true heroine.
If forced to have a headscarf,how about one with Cross and Star of David. On it.
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