Saudis in Beijing

Saudi Arabia’s Olympic team follow their national flag-bearer Mohammed al-Khuwaildi during the opening ceremony of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. Saudi Arabia is one of the few countries that does not allow women to take part in the Olympics. Meanwhile, neighboring GCC countries UAE and Bahrain both had female athletes as their flag-bearers in the opening ceremony.

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94 thoughts on “Saudis in Beijing

  1. heyyzz,i watched the ceremony on TV today. it was veryyy neaaattt :)
    Though:
    -المعلق كان يتكلم كتير ويكرر الكلام لو سكت كان ريحنا واتفرجنا على راحتنا
    :P but thats how they all are—-

    they were very few right?!!!!

    and i noticed about the rest arabic countries, that women participated!!!! how weird!!!!

    but saudi girls are great at sports (like: Basketball, tennis….and more)
    (especially Private colleges such as: 3ffeat
    or even KAAU teams!!!!!!! ) :(

  2. hi saudi smith..and hi every one..
    iam asaudi girl and yes ireeeeealy want 2be in the olympics with my cover(hijab).. why not???
    أنا غير ومتأكدة انه في بناااات كثير غيري غير

  3. what’s the point of wearing a hijab and jumping all over the place in front of the entire world? completely destroys the purpose of hijab no?

    And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what (must ordinarily) appear thereof; that they should draw their veils over their bosoms and not display their beauty except to their husbands, their fathers, their husband’s fathers, their sons, their husbands’ sons, their brothers or their brothers’ sons, or their sisters’ sons, or their women, or the slaves whom their right hands possess, or male servants free of physical needs, or small children who have no sense of the shame of sex; and that they should not strike their feet in order to draw attention to their hidden ornaments. And O ye Believers! turn ye all together towards Allah, that ye may attain Bliss. (24:31)

    see the line about *not stamping the feet*. I definitely don’t agree w/ banning of sports from girl’s schools! that’s pathetic! If you guys wanna play, do it in your home or any other local female sports club. forget what the UAE or any other so-called muslim country does. not that saudi is a perfect Islamic country anyway…wAllahu’alam

  4. Masha Allah, the Muslim men look so strikingly dignified against the backdrop of those cheerleaders. May Allah bless them. :) I agree with the “no girls allowed” rule they uphold. I would not participate nor would I allow my daughter to do so. In my opinion, it’s undignified. I was raised by a feminist mom too, lol!!!

  5. I just saw the video that Mona suggested. Hmm, I have known Saudi women and these women don’t really look Saudi to me.

    I have suffered so much in the US in order to wear hijab and seeing these women throw away their rights just floors me. Subannah Allah!

  6. forget the Olympics! they should left the ban on girls sports in public schools first!
    and two thumbs up for the Jeddah United girls! we should have more focus on sports in schools and universities first before we compete in international events.

  7. I also noticed that for whatever reason the Bahraini team also chose to carry a picture of their King with them too. They were the only team who displayed a photo of their leader. In my own view, I thought that was out of place.

    Yes; all the Arab nations and even Afghanistan had women in representation with the exception of dear Saudi.

    I do agree with the comment that athletics should first be part of all female schools curriculum and then yes, if the Saudi female wishes to pursue athletics and a chance to be an Olympian, then she should have that opportunity.

    Muslim women need to keep demonstrating to the rest of the uniniformed world that they can be good muslimahs in all aspects of their life, to include while being an athlete.

    American Bedu

  8. I love the photo of the Saudi team in their thobes and a whole row of bare-legged chinese cheerleaders behind them.

    I saw the iranian women-athletes in their hijabs and they looked very elegant. Anyway, I don’t see that hijab should equal religion. Besides, there are many sports women can do in a dignified manner and getup. Everybody should sport and keep their body toned. It is nesseccary for good healh.
    Besides, I take it that the male atletes don’t compete in thobes, but modern (un-modest) sports-outfits?
    Seems again like one rule for men, another for women.

    I hope everybody has a lot of fun watching the olympics, and that all athlestes will consider it a beautiful experience, in the spirit for which the Olympics have been created: promoting friendship and compagnionship through sports.

  9. yeah, I agree w/ aafke. muslim men shouldn’t wear anything above their knees.
    the pic looks so awesome though! that flag totally setts it off masha’Allah.

  10. Ahmed,

    I might be pessimistic, but Saudi women will never make it to the Olympics (at least not anytime soon).

    If this country continues to treat women as second-class citizens, if grown-up women are still bound to blindly follow their male caretakers’ commands, if hardliners seem to control every aspect of people’s lives, if women are heartlessly murdered or tortured for simply chatting on Facebook, then don’t you think, Ahmed, that seeing Saudi women on the Olympics would be a dream far away from reality?

  11. Well to those who don’t know, Effat College, Dar Alhekma College and College of Business Administration (CBA) all have female basketball teams in addition to teams in other sports. There are other privately funded and organized football, basketball and volleyball female teams all over Jeddah. Medical College of KAAU has its own female basketball team that went to compete in a basketball tournament in Dubai although not officially sponsored by the university.

    So you see, esepcially here in Jeddah, things are chaning slowly and you never know what the future holds.

    And what does dignity has to do with participating in international respectable tournament such as the Olympics? Not all sports are suitable for females I agree but some are with the proper attire. Saudi women are not less than their equivalents in other countries.

    And don’t you think if a Muslim wins any gold medal in any sport, it would make a positive impression and reflects a much better image than the one portrayed now by the media? Especially if he or SHE spoke about Islam’s greatness?

  12. bassem: I dont see how any muslim woman who really wears hijab out of her own conviction (and not b/c of culture or social pressure) would fine it comfy to jump around in front of the entire world. it completely destroys the purpose of modesty. ( I dont see how wearing a mini head cover and almost body-hugging trousers+top fits the description of a RIGHT hijab)
    yes there are some sports in the olympics suitable for muslim women like shooting (or whatever that is), boating and so on..

    “And don’t you think if a Muslim wins any gold medal in any sport, it would make a positive impression and reflects a much better image than the one portrayed now by the media? Especially if he or SHE spoke about Islam’s greatness?” —> there are loads of ways to improve the image of Islam (like trying to better yourself as a Muslim FIRST). you dont have to do it at the cost of your modesty.

  13. Another pointless decission. After watching the daughter of Dubai’s Emir participating in the Olympic Games as a taekwondo player we can understand how far are some Arab countries compared to Saudi Arabia. And let’s face it, this has nothing to do with Islam, this is just plain male domination over women based in a very strict interpretation of the religion. Women here have no choice. And let’s aks ourselves: would Prophet Muhammad forbid women to participate in society like the way we see it in Saudi Arabia?

  14. arent there other games that are suitable for women to play in hijab?
    olympics is not always about “jumping and running” around.

  15. “olympics is not always about “jumping and running” around”

    sure. if there was a sport in olympics I can play wearing loose clothes that do not reveal my figure and a long enough hijab, heck, I would go for it! unlike saudi arabia, my country encourages women participation in all walks of life.
    clearly there’s an Islamic revolution going on in the west and just the opposite in these so-called muslim countries.

  16. Muslimah- Karate or Taekwondo might be right up your alley.
    By the way oggling the “handsome” awesome looking men in thobes is the same as oggling the chearleaders:)) them eyes, them eyes…

    Glorious when a woman stands up and picks up the torch of choice and exercises it to the betterment of her person- be it in sports, education, work, hijab or whathaveyou.

    But you are correct Khawaj – this isn’t about Islam…but power play…the good ole boys can’t handle sharing so they pounce.

  17. inal – haha i was expecting that to come up so i kinda prepared.
    ahem, i wasnt ogling at them, i just said the thobes look awesome, not the men!in fact you cant even see their faces clearly.

  18. Muslimah, so you agree with me that there are sports that are appropriate for muslim women that you can fully participate in with your hejab and not compromise your modesty! So it’s not always jumping and running ;)

    so, betting Islam’s image doesn’t have to come at the cost of your modesty! and then again, why not better yourself as a Muslim first AND try to better someone else’s view about Islam at the same time? I might not be the perfect muslim unfortunately but I’ll try to convey a much better picture of Islam through my work. This doesn’t contradict that

    AAfke, Gymnastics I think would not be the best of options for someone with a hijab for various reasons that aren’t only religious such as the possible loss of agility.

  19. “and then again, why not better yourself as a Muslim first AND try to better someone else’s view about Islam at the same time?”

    I myself am trying to better myself as a Muslimah everyday. I dont claim to be perfect either. BUT that wont stop me from advising people when they do wrong.

    The most hated speech to Allah is when a man says to another man: “Fear Allah!” and he replies: “Worry about your own self!””

    ['Silsilat al-Ahadith as-Sahihah'; # 2598]

    and Allah knows best

  20. likewise, you can correct me if I say something wrong on here. that’s what amr bil m’arouf wa nahi ‘an il munkar is all about : )

  21. “clearly there’s an Islamic revolution going on in the west and just the opposite in these so-called muslim countries.”

    What’s the Islamic revolution that’s going on, and how does it pertain to the olympics?

  22. “What’s the Islamic revolution that’s going on, and how does it pertain to the olympics?”

    *disclaimer* no offense to anyone.
    young muslim men and women born and raised in the west, surrounded by fitan, trying their best to do d’awah and stick to their religion. sisters wearing hijab and brothers sporting beards despite being in a ‘western’ environment.
    My stay in saudi is mostly always disappointing. I see young men and women trying their best to be more western than people lliving in the west!
    that’s another topic altogether anyway,

  23. “I support their participation as long as they maintain our traditions and habits”

    traditions you say? I think that’s the biggest problem our ummah is facing today is mixing religion w/ culture. ( who cares about the damn culture as long as you don’t break the rules of shar’iah? well, i dont!)

  24. *i.e mixing religion w/ culture

    I also think many of the laws in saudi arabia have more to do w/ Arabian culture than Islam.

  25. Muslimah- correct me if I am wrong is not Archery an Islamic sport we can all pick up on- I have always found it fascinating- especially the Japanese Akido I think they call it…There you could definitely keep your hijab intact- flowing robes and all!

  26. anything that doesnt involve kick boxing, hopping, and running, jumping and what not, i’m all game for it.
    p.s- I’m no sports freak anyway.

  27. hey women can join olympics it doesn’t realy matter , and hey i am in a basketball team and i won MVP, so women can win gold – silver – or even bronze metals. khadija why not send ur daughter its an olympics game . any one can go . man , women it doesn’t realy matter and if u don’t let ur daughter do what she wants , that means u wont be proud of her.

  28. They believe in ONLY part of the book and reject the rest…

    Peace be upon ALL following the guidance…

    “Then do you believe in a part of the Scripture and reject the rest? Then what is the recompense of those who do so among you, except disgrace in the life of this world, and on the Day of Resurrection they shall be consigned to the most grievous torment. And Allah is not unaware of what you do.” AlBaqra 2:85

    By donning the Hijab whilst ignoring the 100’s of other verses of Qur’an, our Beijing Olympic sisters are issuing proof against themselves regarding the above ayaah. What about her tight-fitting costume?

    Our sisters donning the Hijabs at Olympics are doing so whilst they are in the sewer of fitnah, gross intermingling of the sexes and gross nudity since most athletes are dressed naked according to Islam.

    They are imitating the Kuffar and no Hijab will make this HALAAL. Are they not flaunted on TV screens around the world thereby entertaining vile perverted men and women? Their MAHRAM have no GHeerah (healthy and protective jealousy).

    Their “colleagues” and opponents are all naked accorded to ISLAM. She will be shaking these perverted womens hands when they congratulate her. She is surrounded by fitnah and nudity and HARAAM Alcohol, nudity, riba, kufr and shirky adverts. She is in the bowl of evil and in Islam evil has to be stopped by hand, tongue and their is no faith beyond not hating this evil. It is evident that she loves this evil, kufr and shirk because because she has done sooo much to be part of it.

    Her eyebrows seem shaped and altered. If this is so, then she has committed shirk in ALLAH’s perfect creation. What is greater than giving birth to children and being a decent Muslimah.

    The Prophet (pbuh) said: “he who imitates a people is of them” and “she will be resurrected on Judgement Day with those whom she imitates.

    We ask ALLAH to guide me and her before the Angel of Death pays either of us a visit.

    Was-Salaamu Alaykum WRWB
    K

  29. great to read so many responses…..

    what we are discussing here is “Why dont KSA send women to their olympics”…..instead wat we are discussing here is “Why shouldnt women rep KSA at the olympics”.

    This whole thing about wearing hijab and all doesnt sound to reasonable. Wearing a hijab doesnt mean that she is a good muslim or that she is a very modest woman. gone are those days when hijab used to be a sign of modesty.

    hijab makes no sense when she looks modest from outside and does nasty things behind the veil.

    my point here is that, its upto the women who take part in the olmypics to judge for themselves. If they think they can be good muslim while playing, then let them go for it. no one should stop individual interests just because he/she would never do it.

  30. “By donning the Hijab whilst ignoring the 100’s of other verses of Qur’an, our Beijing Olympic sisters are issuing proof against themselves regarding the above ayaah.”

    how do you know fo’ sure they’re rejecting the other ayahs? I don’t think it’s very nice to make judgments like that. only Allah knows what’s in your hearts.

    “What about her tight-fitting costume?”

    unfortunately many women think hijab= anything that covers your face and hands. It not. there are 7 conditions for hijab, and one of’em is the cloth should be loose enough so as not to reveal your figure. that’s why I don the jilbab. makes more sense to me..

    “Our sisters donning the Hijabs at Olympics are doing so whilst they are in the sewer of fitnah, gross intermingling of the sexes and gross nudity since most athletes are dressed naked according to Islam”

    then shouldn’t the men not partake too?

    “They are imitating the Kuffar and no Hijab will make this HALAAL. Are they not flaunted on TV screens around the world thereby entertaining vile perverted men and women? Their MAHRAM have no GHeerah (healthy and protective jealousy).”

    I guess men shouldn’t be out there *intermingling* w/ the opposite sex either. gheerah. hmm..you have a point.

  31. oops a typo

    * anything that covers all your body EXCEPT the face and hands (there are some shuyookh who say niqab is wajib..)

  32. whooow Ahmed! like the old saying:
    لا تستعجل على رزقك
    i’m amazed that Saudi’s even made it to the Olympics!! I really am! when i saw them at the Opening Ceremony i was speechless!!

    I even said to my brother: what are they going to play ? بلوت ؟ ;)

    Its a step up to see Saudi’s at the Olympics … lets just be happy with what we’ve got now…

    when life give you lemons….. :)

  33. Muslimah, I find it striking that you are so short-sighted about a woman’s participation in [public] sports. And then you self-righteously impose your judgments on the women who do (like the guys in power that deny you your rights–and give it credence by quoting the Koran to justify it.).

    I can respect your point of view–even though I ardently disagree with them–but you’re upholding the status quo in the KSA because you yourself think that women are only “suitable” for certain sports as opposed to being exception in all sports. Its like you’re accepting the fact that women cant drive and are only “suitable” for housewifery and baby making.

    I agree with Mairead, all the women who participate in the olympics are “marvelous strong healthy achievers” and that is how they ought to be viewed. Your demonization of the athletes is unnecessary and to be frank—disrespectful. Everyone one there worked hard to get where they are and it is to be respected.

  34. Yes Hismaj….apparently the fireworks were fake–and quite rightly. Beijing is already massively polluted and that has been an issue since China won the bid for the ’08 games. Theyve been trying to clean it up, but I can see why they didn’t want to produce more smog. But it was still cool…

  35. “And then you self-righteously impose your judgments on the women who do (like the guys in power that deny you your rights–and give it credence by quoting the Koran to justify it.).”

    are you a muslim?
    anyway, even if the saudi govt did permit women to play in the olympics, I would still not agree w/ it. (archery, shooting etc are ok)
    the Prophet (pbuh) had a race with his wife AT night when no one was around. wonder why?

    “Ibut you’re upholding the status quo in the KSA because you yourself think that women are only “suitable” for certain sports as opposed to being exception in all sports.”

    they can play any darn sport they want as long as they dont do it in public. this is NOT my opinion. you can ask any reiable scholar and they’ll tell you. (you dont have to ask saudi scholars)

    “Its like you’re accepting the fact that women cant drive and are only “suitable” for housewifery and baby making.”

    I dont consider being a housewife and looking after you kids as anything inferior. as the saying goes ‘the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world’.
    b/w I never said women shouldnt drive.or they shouldnt work.

  36. i’ve been reading this blog and some other saudi (and other) blogs for a few weeks now in an effort to learn about muslim ways, and sometimes I wonder could I ever comment in these forums…perhaps my conception of reality is just far too different from other commentators in these particular realms. muslimah, i appreciated your response to kira@knowislam.co.za: ‘s as being more explanatory and not ‘crazy like’ in its attitude to women and sports.

    but from your last post I have a few points I wish to raise…at the risk of inserting myself where I don’t belong.

    firstly: why did the prophet race his wife at night when no one was around? and for whatever reason, why was that the right thing to do? I am tempted to make a quip about him not wanting to be seen to be beaten by a girl :) and if the reason is to do with not wanting men lusting afte her, then why didn;t he just tell the guys to f*** off?

    secondly: ‘as long as they don’t do it in public’. ok, well being from Ireland and a (budding) triathlete…clearly I take exercising in public for granted. (Thank God). But if not in public space then what kind of space? Do women in KSA have another kind of space other than ‘public’ that is as large and all-encommpassing as public space is? In my limited knowledge no. So why shouldn’t women have an equal amount of public space elsewhere, separate from the men?

    Third: being a housewife and looking after kids is in no way inferior to anything. I think the point, and correct me if I am wrong Ashanti, was to make an analogy between boxing women into certain sports and boxing women into certain lifestyles (as religion is wont to do…and believe me, Catholicism is just the same).

    sigh. sport is so wonderful. why should particpation in it even be defended. ?

    Is it even possible to meaningfully debate these points? Or do we just have two different world views, lets leave it at that!

  37. mairead, i really appreciate your interest in Islam and saudi arabia. Hope our replies live up to your expectations.

    yes, the prophet raced in the night so that no other man would look at her thru their lusty eyes. Muslim women are required to keep their gaze lower in front of other strange men.

    in saudi arabia, there are seperate gyms for men and women. So women have got their own space for exercising. But women can walk around in the public parks and other places in the open that are frequented by similiar health concerned people. Its inappropriate for them to jog or run (in the form of exercise) in such public places for obvious reasons.

    It all depends on how aware one is about his/ her religion. There might be alot of women that wont feel comfortable exercising (or just walking) in the public. Hence the women-only gyms.

  38. Is not the requirement to lower thy eyes for BOTH BELIEVING MEN AND WOMEN (sorry for shouting- used only for emphasis)??!?!??!!!

    Hijab is for BOTH- a man cannot expose certain things, and a woman is not to expose certain things…But that both are commanded to have modesty means BOTH…not just the baby-bearing part of the world.

    A woman is much more than just baby bearer and housewife…The Prophet’s SAW first wife was more enterprising than many women nowadays- and his last wife never had children – so there runs the range – A Muslimah (the first one by the way) who ran a business and the Muslimah who never had children…hmmm –

    “I See” says the Blind Man….

  39. Muslimah,

    1.) Because I believe religion is a private/personal matter I’m not going to entertain your question because it’s irrelevant.

    2.) If the Saudi government decided to allow women play in the games and you choose to disagree with that decision you are well within your rights to do so.

    Maired, yeah I was thinking the same thing about the Prophet and his wife horse racing at night…hm….that stumps me. The point of the story as elaborated on by Hishmaj points to the tradition of women being kept out of the view of men who are not related to them–its supposed to keep men from temptation (which I think only promotes taboos amongst the sexes). He’s also right about how comfortable a woman is in her surroundings in public–with the proviso that her chaperone is with her.

    3.)Yes, Mairead that was exactly my point. The analogy was misunderstood. — Women should not be pigeon holed into particular roles because of their perceived “suitability”.

    4. ) This is the fun one: “they can play any darn sport they want as long as they dont do it in public. this is NOT my opinion. you can ask any reiable scholar and they’ll tell you. (you dont have to ask saudi scholars)”

    If this is NOT your opinion then why are you touting it like it is? You surely defend it like it was your own brainchild. What is wrong with exercising and playing a sport in public? Is it dirty? Immodest? Indecent? Overly sexual? What?

    I don’t need to ask a scholar about an issue that is easily solvable by using common sense. I’m a woman who employs reason and can think critically for herself, thanks for the suggestion though. Keeping women out of public view is a barrier to the progression of society. It regulates women to certain “suitable” roles which hinders their advancement in any and every field that they could excel in.

    As a tennis player I would curse-someone-out who told me I couldn’t play in a public space because my sportswear was “revealing”–no, its not, its made for performance…Nike doesn’t make performance whore-wear.

  40. just to add to what hishmaj said..the Prophet’s (pbuh) marriage is an example to the entire world. this particular incident goes to show it’s totally ok for one to play and fool around w/ his wife as it increases love b/w the two partners..I can go on and on..there are a series of lectures on the Prophet’s(pbuh) marriage and things we can implement in our own lives..very interesting : )

  41. “If this is NOT your opinion then why are you touting it like it is? You surely defend it like it was your own brainchild. What is wrong with exercising and playing a sport in public? Is it dirty? Immodest? Indecent? Overly sexual? What?”

    It is the opinion of scholars that I TAKE. no scholar who has studied from reliable sources w/ proper ijazah (certification) will say otherwise.

    “I don’t need to ask a scholar about an issue that is easily solvable by using common sense. I’m a woman who employs reason and can think critically for herself, thanks for the suggestion though.”

    I guess this is where we disagree. We’ve been asked in the Qur’an to ask people who knowledge.

    “Keeping women out of public view is a barrier to the progression of society. It regulates women to certain “suitable” roles which hinders their advancement in any and every field that they could excel in.”

    um are we debating keeping from from public view or keeping them away from playing in public view? I’m sorry but nowhere did I make a point about women being limited to home. but I guess that’s another topic..

  42. *people who have knowledge.

    “Then ask those who possess the Message (Ahl adh-Dhikr) if you do not know.” (Quran, 21:7 and 16:43

  43. ” Because I believe religion is a private/personal matter I’m not going to entertain your question because it’s irrelevant.”

    it is relevant. I can’t explain or make you understand where i’m coming from, not unless you know the core fundamentals of my religion.

    I rest my case. peace.

  44. “As a tennis player I would curse-someone-out who told me I couldn’t play in a public space because my sportswear was “revealing”–no, its not, its made for performance…Nike doesn’t make performance whore-wear.”

    ASHANTI, why does only a woman’s performance increase by the lesser clothes they wear and at the same time men who play the same sport are way better dressed than women???

    Sania Mirza, the indian tennis player, is supposed to be a muslim. yet she wears skimpy clothes and play tennis in spite of the criticisms faced by her. she even performed a pilgrimage(HAJ) last year in proper Hijab. people like these are not the ones that can be an ambassador to the religion. if she chose not to wear hijba and continue playing, thats her wish and it may satisfy her in this world. But we are all doing this for our better future in the next world (hell or heaven).

  45. “I don’t need to ask a scholar about an issue that is easily solvable by using common sense. I’m a woman who employs reason and can think critically for herself, thanks for the suggestion though”

    Ashanti,

    If people start judging their thoughts by themselves and take everything for granted, then no one will be a perfect muslim in this world.We were born to live according to what our Quran and Sunnah (Progphet’s teachings) teaches us. If we want to ignore those teachings, then no one is stopping us.

    Why would anyone stop at a traffic light that is red even though u r the only person on the road?? if we use our common sense in this case, then eveyrone wil jump the signal….yet no one does! thats how our “common sense” works.

  46. hijab makes no sense when she looks modest from outside and does nasty things behind the veil.

    my point here is that, its upto the women who take part in the olmypics to judge for themselves. If they think they can be good muslim while playing, then let them go for it. no one should stop individual interests just because he/she would never do it.
    hishmaj.
    i totaly agree with you.

    this is plain hypocrisy! why do we assume that every single woman is KSA is Mohajabah?
    is it ok for women to take off their hijab when traveling to foreign countries but it’s not ok for them to participate in the Olympics because they’re representing Saudi Arabia officially? they are a lot of non-mohajabat women who are just as religious as any other muslimah with a head scarf.. why make it an issue?
    Plus they’re a lot of Muslim women athletes participating everywhere. Does that make them sinners? Are they going to hell?
    Women should have the freedom to choose weather or not they want to practice sports publicly, the judgment is theirs!

  47. “is it ok for women to take off their hijab when traveling to foreign countries but it’s not ok for them to participate in the Olympics because they’re representing Saudi Arabia officially?”

    see that’s the problem. hijab has become part of the Arab culture and hence lost it’s value. you still see women wearing abayah and hijab and walking around in makeup/perfume and designer bags. it makes no sense to me.
    It’s sad that in muslim countries women are forced to wear the hijab. hijab is beautiful and is a part of Islam and NOT culture.

    “they are a lot of non-mohajabat women who are just as religious as any other muslimah with a head scarf.. why make it an issue?”

    no comments.

  48. “Women should have the freedom to choose whether* or not they want to practice sports publicly, the judgment is theirs!”

    correct me if i’m wrong, saudi arabia is *supposed* to be a country ruled by shari’ah right? if that’s the case they’ve every right to ban women from playing in public and allocating private gyms/sports clubs etc instead. in shari’ah the govt has the right to pass on rules and the public have no choice but to abide by them as long as they don’t go against the shari’ah. there’s no obedience in the disobedience of the creator.

  49. what about the “shoura” muslimah?
    playing sports is not against Islam, Islam promotes sports for both sexes. it just seems unfair that men can pursue their dreams in that area yet women can’t! I’m starting to hate the (w) & (o) they seem to stop women from doing everything! I won’t believe that Islam the religion that created women rights long before any human rights organization or western country would stop women from pursuing sports.

  50. Ghada, no one is “stopping” us or the women to play sports. They are just stopping the women playing in the olympics. as people mentioned here before, all girls’ schools and colleges have got their own teams in different sports and there are tournaments going on in the kingdom for women too. the only difference is that the spectators are going to be women-only.

    all these rules and everything is for the betterment of the individual himself/herself. the person who makes the rule is not going to achieve anything!

  51. “they are a lot of non-mohajabat women who are just as religious as any other muslimah with a head scarf.. why make it an issue?”

    religous in which religion?

  52. religous in which religion?

    Islam, what i mean is we should not judge muslim women by their hijab.. a non-mohajabah might be better than a mohajabah-religioun wise- and vise versa. (da3 el 5alg lel 5ale8)

  53. “Ghada, no one is “stopping” us or the women to play sports. They are just stopping the women playing in the olympics”
    true i’ve been to a great school where they promote sports and we played against other schools as well but they’re private school.
    there’s no sports activities in public schools which is unfair and do you know why? some religious men said because girls should wear pants while playing sports and pants ara haram!! and they’re girls only schools!!!
    i know there are other sport facilities in ksa that girls can go to. but if the ministry of education is obeying what the religious men are saying and maintain the ban on sports then what kind of message does it send to the public?

  54. ASHANTI, why does only a woman’s performance increase by the lesser clothes they wear and at the same time men who play the same sport are way better dressed than women???

    —-Um…Im sorry but how is this correlate exactly? Women’s tennis clothes do the following: 1. Allow for maximum mobility 2. Keeps sweat away from the body 3. Provide chest support.

    Mens clothing: A light jersey/mesh shirt (with or without sleeves–exposes the arms…:::gasp!:::) and shorts. Thats pretty basic.

    I for one could not imagine playing in an abaya–for one its the antithesis of performance and you’d trip and fall–break your neck–and then your out on your ass because you wore improper clothing.

    “Sania Mirza, the indian tennis player, is supposed to be a muslim. yet she wears skimpy clothes and play tennis in spite of the criticisms faced by her. she even performed a pilgrimage(HAJ) last year in proper Hijab. people like these are not the ones that can be an ambassador to the religion. if she chose not to wear hijba and continue playing, thats her wish and it may satisfy her in this world. But we are all doing this for our better future in the next world (hell or heaven).”

    Sania Mirza by the way is an amazing tennis player and I 100% love to watch her play. She’s a credit to India and her achievements are acknowledged by true tennis lovers the world over. I find youre maligning her religiously because she wears [to you] revealing outfits–but you just need to get over yourself–and your overzealousness. Not everyone is the same, not everyone is going to be the same, why can’t you appreciate others’ difference? So she performed Haj…and? She’s in tune with her faith and practicing it honestly–what are you doing? (Oh right, passing judgement on another’s behavior with your holier-than-thou sense of self)

    And spare me all the heaven/hell nonsense. If either realm truly did exist I’d bet there would be a longer line for the inferno than a girl who plays remarkable tennis in a skirt and tank.

  55. “I find you’re maligning her religiously because she wears [to you] revealing outfits–but you just need to get over yourself–and your overzealousness. Not everyone is the same, not everyone is going to be the same, why can’t you appreciate others’ difference? So she performed Haj…and? She’s in tune with her faith and practicing it honestly–what are you doing?”

    I dont have a problem w/ sania mirza. what she does is her business. BUT I do have a problem when she goes around telling everyone she’s a *practicing muslim*, b/c practicing muslims don’t wear short skirts and tanks (which by the way is very revealing, even if it’s for professional reasons b/c wearing that kinda outfits to work makes the work itself WRONG -according to Islam) . It portrays the wrong image of a *practicing muslim* and Islam AND it is my business.
    she should just go about telling people she’s a modern liberal muslim and do whatever she wants.

  56. what muslimah just said is exactly true and that what i meant.

    Muslims are no good if they are: good inside and bad outside, or vice-versa

  57. “Not everyone is the same, not everyone is going to be the same, why can’t you appreciate others’ difference?”

    I can always appreciate another person for the work they do (as in Sania Mirza) or the way they behave BUT i cannot and will never appreciate another person as a “good muslim” if they just cant follow the basic rules of Islam. people like these are just not the right ones to be the ambassadors of their religion.

  58. mashallah! so many responses :)
    to tell the truth, I didn’t read every single one of the comments out of laziness, but here’s what I think:
    the whole concept of having female representatives in the Olympics or any other thing is degrading for women. don’t get me wrong. I’m your usual feminist freak.
    let’s face it, they chose women so that the opening ceremony or whatever would attract attention. women walking around, wearing somewhat attractive clothes or whatever. then, our Arabic countries followed the rule, with decent clothing of course, because other countries are doing the same.
    couldn’t women be put to a more important role other than showing off?
    I think the whole concept of pretty girls, carrying flags and walking around entails shallow thinking. after all, women are nothing more than an eye candy.
    as for women participating in the Olympics, I support Muslimah. we can practice any sport we want, among female audience only. no need for TV or anything of that sort.
    what I’m against is the recent fatwah I heard of. it says that women are forbidden to practice any sport.
    now that caused my veins to pop people. I was pulling my hair by the roots when I first heard this fatwah.
    that’s it. I’ll shut up for now. take care people.

  59. Magic-Realism
    “what I’m against is the recent fatwah I heard of. it says that women are forbidden to practice any sport”.
    where did you hear THAT?!
    this is outrageous!!

  60. hey there again. it has been really fascinating to read all the comments here especially between ashanti, hishmaj and muslimah, but not possible for me to participate, my perspective is too different to debate on the same playing field (pardon the pun!). as a non-muslim, I have no concept of the need to be modest in the same way as argued here. my concept of modesty is either a bit of cleavage or a bit of leg, but not both ;) (thats a joke…I am more modest than that…most of the time…) :)

    however the one feeling I would like to express in relation to all this is that I think it is a shame that womens bodies are seen to be so provocative, that even when it comes to sport, the prevailing image should be that people (or rather men, as referred to here) would initially have lust for them, rather than just looking at the sport itself.

    I have come to undestand (slightly!) and respect the standard of modesty expected in Islam, but when it comes to the point where even in sport women should not even run or jump and should cover themselves so restrictively, to me it seems that this sees the worst in people. are men not capable of having feelings other than lust? are men not able to show respect for women even if they are not completely covered in an abaya? can men really not think of a woman as anything other than a sex object if they can see the outline of a breast, or long hair?

    and I am asking all of this primarily in relation to the contention that Saudi women should not be on TV for all the spectating men of the world to lust over. I really find it hard to believe that men watching the olypmics think, when they see female athletes, ‘mmm sexy, I’m so turned on’, and don’t just focus on the sport they are competing in.

    Watching the olympics with my male friends, brothers and dad, I have brought up some of the discussions in the comments in this blog post. They’ve been really surprised at the idea of ‘lust’ being a possible feeling, but intrigued by the fact that people think this. We all just see power and strength in the athletes, there is nothing sexual there at all. Its just sport, and its just skin, and I think people, indeed men, have more integrity and decency than to be lustful where sport is involved.

    Am I on a different playing field, or am I just naive about the strength of lust in people’s minds?! :)

  61. Mairead come to Yemen, men here stare you down even if you are in full regalia of abaya, niqab, gloves, black socks, and shoes…

    I think it is starvation, because I never thought that full regalia meant eye candy! Oy!!

  62. I’m still amazed how every mention in any post of women doing anything always, àlways, on any blog, ends up in an endless discussion about covering.

    No matter what, no matter their achievements intelligence, their strenght, prowess, capabilities, there seems to be only one topic of real importance: women have to be diminished into something fitna-ish that needs to be covered and kept apart, away, invisible.

  63. mairead. I appreciate your interest in Islam:-)

    “however the one feeling I would like to express in relation to all this is that I think it is a shame that womens bodies are seen to be so provocative, that even when it comes to sport, the prevailing image should be that people (or rather men, as referred to here) would initially have lust for them, rather than just looking at the sport itself.”

    I don’t remember where exactly, but there was this report in news regarding tennis that guys actually are more interested in seeing women’s body than the sport itself. I wasn’t surprized..let’s admit it. ..i’m going to be really blunt..guy’s get *visually stimulated* whereas women are more on the emotional side. it’s nothing to be ashamed of.. just the way we’ve been created..normal anatomy, you know.
    In Islam, a woman is honored. She’s required to cover herself for her own benefit. No man, but her husband has the right to see her beauty. (I guess men should be happy abt that too!)

    ” can men really not think of a woman as anything other than a sex object if they can see the outline of a breast, or long hair?”

    if they do otherwise, something’s wrong with them ;-) ok, the good men will show respect and look away..but most of them DO get attracted..ask any guy yourself.

    “Am I on a different playing field, or am I just naive about the strength of lust in people’s minds?!”

    I choose naive :p

  64. muslimah, naive, lol, maybe. maybe not :)

    i will agree to disagree with you anyway…i genuinely don’t think men are that bad. maybe just starved as INAL contends! Clearly covering doesnt make a difference anyway, by some accounts.

    thanks for the links, I will peruse with interest

  65. oh come on, muslimah…..
    men are not that bad!!!!

    mairead, nice to know you are very interested. hope you get the right info and as muslimah said, dont judge the whole religion from a saudi perspective. there is more to it.

  66. Hussain taher al saba has won the long jump competition at the zurich meet today. i was just wondering if he is a shii. Out of curiosity more then anything else.

  67. I don’t get why you would say you wear “hijab” with tight fitting clothes…why are these women destroying the true purpose of hijab? She might as well wear tight shorts (the bahraini) girl if she is going to wear something that tight and call it modest.

    The prophet Muhammad(pbuh) said a day will come when muslims will follow kafirs in anything they do. It’s happening today my friends, and that is why 1 in 5 people in the world is muslim today and we don’t have any power.

  68. Women in Islam are not be allowed to take part in a sport where men other than their mahrams can see them. However, Muslim men and women alike, WAKE UP! Do you think that it is permissible for Muslim men to put themselves in the kind of environment where they can see ‘half-naked’ women playing sports (or standing on the side-lines)??!!! Do you think that they can go to the Olympics and avoid looking at women who are not covered and who come into their line of view (like the cheerleaders)? It is HARAM and it is hypocritical to the extreme!

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