The Parliament Blog

Archive for the ‘hijab’ tag

Sports Hijabs Help Muslim Women to Olympic Success

Photography credit to Ali Jarekji/Reuters.  The Guardian.

The Iranian women’s national football team wearing sport hijabs.

by Homa Khaleeli
from The Guardian

Amid the furore over the state of undress of one of the UK’s most successful female cyclists, the increasing aceptance of sportswear that allows Muslim women to compete has garnered little attention.

Earlier this month Fifa finally overturned its ban, brought in in 2007, on women playing football with their heads covered. The decision came too late for the Iranian football team. It had already prevented them from playing in their 2012 Olympic qualifying match last year and disappointed their female fans in the football-mad Islamic Republic, where women are not allowed to watch men’s matches and headscarves are mandatory for women. But the overturning of the ban was cheered by footballers around the world, some of whom, such as Australian Assmaah Helal, wear the hijab through choice.

London 2012 is the first Olympics where women will compete in all 26 sports on offer (although still in 30 fewer events in total), and Fifa is just one of several international bodies to relax clothing rules and so allow more Muslim women to compete in the Games. It’s impossible to know how many women will be competing with their head covered this year, but they include judo player Wodjan Ali Seraj Abdulrahim and Saudi Arabian runner Sarah Attar, as well as footballers.

Click here to read full article

July 30th, 2012 at 10:55 am

Women Wear Hijabs in Support of Slain Iraqi Woman

by Omar Sacirbey
from the Washington Post

Jean Younis won’t be wearing an Easter bonnet at church this Sunday. Instead, the office manager at Bonita Valley Adventist Church in National City, Calif., will don an Islamic headscarf to support the family and friends of Shaima Alawadi, the Iraqi immigrant and mother of five who died March 24, three days after being beaten in her home in El Cajon, Calif.

“I do expect a reaction, but that’s the point. It needs to be discussed,” said Younis, 59, who predicted that most church members would be supportive or respectfully inquisitive.

She is one of many non-Muslim women to post photos of themselves wearing a headscarf on “One Million Hijabs for Shaima Alawadi,” a recently created Facebook Page that had nearly 10,000 likes on Monday (April 2) and hundreds of photos. Others posting on the page have identified themselves as Catholics, Quakers, Mennonites, Jews, Pagans, and atheists.

Click here to read the full article

Crossing Boundaries on a Train from Tel Aviv to Be’er Sheva

by Ariel Katz
from Common Ground News Service

I am on the train, travelling south from Tel Aviv to Be’er Sheva. Three Bedouin women dressed in hijab (headscarves) enter the train ahead of me and my daughter, each with a toddler. They see there are no seats together, so they opt to sit on the floor, near the doors. I find seats for myself and my daughter. Across the aisle from us sits a man with akipah, a cap worn by Orthodox Jewish men. A Bedouin woman in hijab and her toddler sit facing him. The toddler is cranky; she is tired of sitting on mother’s lap. She wants to explore. Her mother holds her firmly as she squirms and whines, trying to pacify her. Because she is using simple Arabic language for a three year-old, I can understand every word.

It is one of those unpleasant situations that happens all the time, and usually is tolerated in silence, as if it were unnoticed. In this instance, the young man with the kipah reaches into his backpack and withdraws a completed Rubik’s Cube, a puzzle made of interlocking squares. He hands it to the mother who carefully twists the top row of squares to show her daughter it can move.

When the toddler realises she will never find out what is inside the cube, she becomes cranky again, and the mother thanks the man, returning it. We sit with the toddler’s discomfort for a while. Then the Jewish man starts to fold and tear the advertisement flyer that has been left on the table between them. He is making the child something out of the paper using Japanese origami. She becomes engaged in his actions and quiets. He makes a swan and demonstrates how it can flap its wings by pulling on its head and tail. The woman accepts it and plays with her daughter. They are happy. The swan reminds me of a dove. The man speaks to the mother in Hebrew, telling her she has a lovely daughter. The mother thanks him in Hebrew and asks if he has children. He says he has younger siblings. She speaks some Hebrew and they have a simple conversation.

After a while the girl tires of the swan and the mother allows her to squirm off her lap to stand in the aisle beside her. The girl reaches over to my daughter’s armrest, and comes to say hello to us. She has noticed our interest in the unfolding story of the Jew and the Arab. We smile and welcome her to our side of the aisle. My daughter is wearing a skirt and the toddler puts her hand on my daughter’s leg. Her little fingers weave under the wide lace of my daughter’s tights to feel her bare skin. She smiles. Her mother directs her to come back, saying, “ta’ali”. I cheekily contradict the mother in Arabic and tell her, “khalleeki”, stay. “Khalleek” is a central word in Arabic – it is said when a guest makes a move to leave the host’s house. It is polite to beg the guest to stay, even if it is clear the time has come to go. I play with this cultural imperative. “Stay with us.” You have crossed a border into our space, but you are welcome here. We are no longer strangers.

Click here to read the full article

February 3rd, 2012 at 10:52 am