Saturday, October 1, 2016

FIDE To Meet With Iran To Discuss "Player Comfort" At Women's World Chess Championship

The easy solution is for Iran to demonstrate how diplomatically magnanimous it is by waiving this horrid law's forced enactment on non-Muslim female visitors to the country.

What is the U.S. Chess Federation's position on this horrendous imposition of a Muslim religious rule on non-Muslim players?  It would be like all players coming into the United States to play in a chess tournament being forced to wear a crucifix around their necks upon pain of prosecution and threat of being jailed because - you know - this is the "Christian culture" of our country!

Well, you all know or should know that is horse manure and would never fly in the world today despite certain "christian" factions in the United States who would like to turn this country into a theocracy, but this is no different from Iran forcing a head scarf upon non-Muslim females who, if they want to play in the championship, have no choice but to go to Iran.  That sucks.

I hope ALL of the female players will choose not to play if they are required to wear a head scarf.

Female chess players protest wearing hijab at Iran world championship 

By Elizabeth Roberts, for CNN
Updated 7:35 AM ET, Fri September 30, 2016

(CNN) - Some of the world's top female chess players are upset that the next world championship will be held in Iran, where players are expected to wear head scarves.

The US women's champion, Nazi Paikidze-Barnes, will not be taking part in the event in Tehran next February due to her concern over the issue. Meanwhile former Pan American champion Carla Heredia -- who did not qualify for the Tehran tournament -- also called for the 64 women who are playing there to protest against the hijab rule.

"Iran has hosted chess tournaments before and women were always forced to wear a hijab," Paikidze-Barnes told CNN.

"We don't see this event being any different, forced hijab is the country's law." This, she said, is "religious and sexist discrimination."

She added: "If the venue of the championship is not changed, I will not be participating. I am deeply upset by this. I feel privileged to have qualified to represent the US at the Women's World Chess Championship and to not be able to due to religious, sexist, and political issues is very disappointing."

World Sports Issue

Meanwhile Heredia, originally from Ecuador and now living in Texas, said: "This is not only about 64 players, this is a world issue, a women's rights issue. That's why I'm speaking up. Sports should be free of this type of discrimination."
She said she hoped Iran would agree for women to play without hijabs without fear of punishment.

Islamic dress 

Islamic codes of behavior and dress are strictly enforced in Iran. In public places, women must cover their heads with a headscarf.

Susan Polger, the chairman of FIDE's Commission for Women's Chess, has so far not received any complaints from players on the matter. However, she said, if complaints come in, the commission will handle them "professionally and diplomatically."

Polger, who is retired from competing, said she has never had to play a tournament wearing a headscarf. However, she said that speaking personally, she would not have an issue with wearing one out of respect for a country's culture. [This isn't about "culture" - it's about misogynistic systemic oppression of females.  Of course, GM Polgar is - or should be - well aware of that.  She's been subject to plenty of misogynistic systemic oppression during her own playing career - like in 1986 ...]

Why Iran? 

Iran was the only country which made a proposal to host the event, a World Chess Federation (FIDE) spokeswoman told CNN in a statement. She added that since there were no objections from any of the other 150 national chess federations -- including the US (what she did tell you is that it's run by a majority of old men with 19th century ideas and the female players are NOT consulted] -- FIDE's General Assembly accepted the proposal.

FIDE is "reviewing all possible solutions for the players' comfort and will discuss all the issues with the organizers in Iran during meetings in the next few weeks," said the spokeswoman, adding that the organization had so far not received any complaints from players competing. [I don't believe this - but even if this is true, it would be because players fear making "official" complaints and being blacklisted by FIDE, which routinely punishes players who "do not go along."]

The irony that nobody is talking about is that if it were a men's knock-out championship, the male players wouldn't be forced to alter their appearances in any way.  Where is the fairness?  Where is the equality?

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