Muslim athlete wearing hijab in Olympic event

Posted by    |    August 4th, 2012 at 5:40 am

Saudi Arabia Wojdan Ali Seraj Abdulrahim Shaherkani gestures as she walks with the contingent in the atheletes parade during the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium July 27, 2012 (Credit: Reuters / Suzanne Plunkett)History will be made at the London Olympics later today when judo competitor Wojdan Shaherkani fights Puerto Rico’s Melissa Mojica.  The 16-year-old Saudi is making headlines because of what she will wear to compete.  Saudi clerics require women to wear the Islamic hijab in public.  This loose-fitting garment would give Shaherkani a competitive advantage, however, since opponents would not be able to use her clothing for leverage (a common practice in judo).  But anything that makes her clothing more form-fitting would violate Muslim standards.  As a compromise, authorities decided she would be allowed to compete wearing a headscarf, a decision other judo competitors supported.

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