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    » 07/31/2012, 00.00

    G. BRITAIN - S. ARABIA

    London 2012: Saudi judoka can compete (with veil)



    The athlete will participate wearing special headgear. Originally, the International Judo Federation (IJF) had admitted Wojdan AliSeraj Abdulrahim Shaherkani, but only bare-headed "for security reasons." The girl's father has threatened to withdraw her from competition. She will compete on 3 August in the +78 kg category.

    London (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The Saudi judoka can compete in the Olympic Games, wearing a "special" veil. It was announced by the Saudi National Olympic Committee, the International Olympic Committee and the International Judo Federation (IJF), thus resolving the dispute which was in danger of excluding the athlete from the competition. Wojdan AliSeraj Abdulrahim Shaherkani, 16, will take to the mat on the 3rd of August in the +78 kg category. The authorities have not yet revealed the design of the judo hijab.

    In recent days, some IJF statements threatened to "prevent" the girl from participating in the Olympics. IJF President, Marius Vizer, had maintained that the athlete would have to compete without the hijab, for safety reasons. At that point, the judoka's father threatened to withdraw his daughter from the competition, if the authorities had forbidden her from wearing the Islamic veil.

    According to the IJF official rules, athletes can not wear any type of headgear during the fights: during the wrestle, the garment may move and lead to strangulation or other problems.

    Wojdan AliSeraj Abdulrahim Shaherkani is one of two Saudi women athletes representing the country at the London 2012 Games. The other is Sarah Attar, who will compete in the athletics 800m. Saudi Arabia removed its ban on women in the Olympic team on June 26 last, to avoid exclusion from competition on grounds of sex discrimination. The Olympic Charter provides for the waiver of any country that practices any form of discrimination. In the wake of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Brunei also sent female athletes to the Games.

     

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    See also

    26/06/2012 SAUDI ARABIA
    Saudi Arabia confirms: women can attend the Olympics
    The decision was taken to avoid the exclusion of the kingdom for gender discrimination. So far the only qualified athlete is Dalma Rushdi Malhas, who will compete in showjumping. The other athletes will be selected in the coming weeks. A uniform is already prepared with a sports hijab.

    13/07/2012 SAUDI ARABIA - OLYMPICS
    Saudi Arabia reveals two women athletes, first to compete for country in Olympic Games
    Sarah Attare in athletics, Wodjan Abdulrahim Ali Seraj in judo. The choice of female athletes has caused many difficulties for the local Olympic committee, who have struggled to find candidates with the necessary requirements to participate in the Olympics.

    22/03/2012 SAUDI ARABIA
    For the first time Saudi female athletes at the Olympics
    A decision to this effect was taken by Prince Nayef, provided participation "meets the standards of decency and women do not contradict Islamic law", the pro-government Arab News, an editorial states the need to guarantee equal rights to women.

    26/07/2010 SAUDI ARABIA
    Islamic scholars: if the veil is banned, Muslim women may uncover their face
    Leading Saudi experts have criticized the French government decision, which denies freedom of religion, but agree that Muslim women are "allowed" or "it is better to" show their face when required by the law of the host country .

    09/11/2012 SAUDI ARABIA
    Saudi women must unveil their face for identity checks
    Currently there is only a picture of the designated “guardian" and only the names of family members. But from now on woman officials will see the uncovered faces of Saudi women.



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