Veiled athletes challenge stereotypes in Beijing

BEIJING (Reuters) – The women in Ruqaya Al Ghasara’s home town in Bahrain are so proud of their pioneering Olympic sprinter that some of them got together to design and sew a set of tailor-made aerodynamic veils for her to run in.

Egyptian fencer Shaimaa El Gammal, a third-timer at the Olympics, will don Islamic headgear in Beijing for the first time. She says it is a sign she is come of age and she feels more empowered than ever.

This year’s Games will see a sizable sprinkling of veiled athletes who are determined to avoid offending devout Muslims back home while showing skimpily dressed rivals there is nothing constricting about wearing “hijab”. Read more here.

What do you think about this? Isn’t it’s great that these women show the world that it’s possible for Muslim veiled women to be top athletes?! I wish they win some medals!

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20 thoughts on “Veiled athletes challenge stereotypes in Beijing

  1. Mariam says:

    This is a great article πŸ™‚ I actually have something planned on this topic for my podcast this week hehe. It’s great to see more hijabi’s participating in athletics. Or maybe it’s the other way around? More athletes choosing to wear hijab? hehe

  2. M.Ba says:

    This is just so awesome. At the opening ceremony I was ecstatic seeing hijabis carrying their flags, I screamed so loudly, my husband ran from the kitchen to see what was gioing on …
    Yay for them!!

  3. Leila says:

    Yeah, it really great ! πŸ™‚ Mashaallah.. U can read more on the topic here http://shahrzaad.wordpress.com/2008/08/09/iranian-women-in-olympics/

  4. Rebecka says:

    “Skimpily dressed rivals” sounds a bit harsh… It is after all sports, and they are not there to show off their bodies, but their ability. “Skimpily” makes me think of someone trying to attract sexual attention, and I really don’t believe many people watching the Olympics are thinking about sex when seeing those women… Those are just practical outfits for them.

  5. basbousa says:

    Rebecka – It’s copied and pasted right from Reuters, not my words πŸ™‚
    I totally agree on what you say!

  6. Alix says:

    Yeah. Unfortunately Saudi forbids women from competing publically…..

  7. raquelevita says:

    Very cool! Next up: hijabi American Idol finalists…

  8. OomHussam says:

    Salaams,

    Awww masha`Allaah this is so great. I haven’t been keeping up with the Olympics but now I think I will hehe.

  9. Sharshura says:

    Does anyone have news on the Afghan woman athlete? At the opener they said that she dropped out because of death threats from talibs. Is she back in now?

  10. INAL says:

    More Power to these women who Believe and believe in their right to stand up in the world proud of who they are and what they do!

  11. erica aisha says:

    Sallams Sisters,

    Hey, I think dozens of hijabi bloggers are picking up on this story! I just did my hijabis in the olympics post last night. It is wonderful to see. There was even a Chinese (presumably) hijabi who placed the medals on the US men’s relay or some team. I was SO excited to see the representation. Please let me know if anyone finds that pic.

    I was looking for info on the Afghani sister. Argh, the Talibs were hating?

    Peace~Sallam,
    erica aisha

  12. nursheikha says:

    Just shows that the hijab never restricts you from dreaming to succeed

  13. Yaaaay! Kudos to the girls! I feel so proud of them.

  14. Fatemeh says:

    Salam, ladies.
    About Afghan Olympian Mehboba: she dropped out and is now seeking asylum in Europe. Here’s a link to one of the stories.

    http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,565713,00.html

  15. Ummzaynab says:

    Who is the hijabi with the medal in the picture?

    I hate how the article frames the issue in terms of “women are competing in hijab to avoid offending devout Muslims back home”. So they are “oppressed” because they are wearing hijab out of fear? Or are they wearing it by choice out of personal conviction?

    The MSM makes me so upset every time they cover Muslims…

  16. basbousa says:

    The hijabi is Ruqaya al Ghasara, sprinterfrom Bahrain

  17. sportymuslimah says:

    Do you know any NIKE website that sells muslim sports products?

  18. Muslimah says:

    Mashallah, there were also some sisters competing in the karate and archery.

  19. zena says:

    heyy…its a realy good idea ro show this to girls that a hijab perfetct is…even when it cums to fashion!! πŸ˜€

    xx

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