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U.S. women’s chess champion refuses to wear hijab at world event in Iran; threatens boycott

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This is what standing up for women’s rights looks like.

Iran is set to host the world chess championship, but now the U.S. women’s champion and others are accusing chess tournament officials of not standing up for women’s rights because it has allowed Iran to rule that all female contestants must wear the oppressive Muslim headscarf during their stay in the Muslim country.

Worse, Iran has said that female chess grandmasters who refuse to wear the hijab while in Iran will face arrest!

Wearing the headscarves has been strictly enforced by the “morality police” since 1979.  Refusal to do so can result in public reprimands, arrests or fines, the Mail reported.

Fide, the nickname of the World Chess Federation, is now being accused of bowing to pressure from the terrorist exporting nation and not standing up for its female players.

In particular, the U.S. women’s champion, Nazi Paikidze, is attacking Fide as weak-willed.

“It is absolutely unacceptable to host one of the most important women’s tournaments in a venue where, to this day, women are forced to cover up with a hijab,” Paikidze said according to the Daily Mail.

“I understand and respect cultural differences,” she added. “But, failing to comply can lead to imprisonment and women’s rights are being severely restricted in general. It does not feel safe for women from around the world to play here.”

“If the situation remains unchanged, I will most certainly not participate in this event,” the U.S. female champ concluded.

U.S. Women’s Champion Nazi Paikidze

Paikidz isn’t the only chess champ from the west who is balking at Iran’s demands. Former Pan American champion Carla Heredia, from Ecuador, also criticized the tournament.

“No institution, no government, nor a Women’s World Chess Championship should force women to wear or to take out a hijab,” Heredia said. She then added, “This violates all what sports means. Sport should be free of discrimination by sex, religion and sexual orientation.”

Others agreed and a group of the female champions have demanded that Fide address the issue. So far, though, the chess organization has timidly refused to even comment and there has yet been no action on the accusations against it.


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