Always Free To Place a Hit On Someone
Those seeking a symbolic victory for Islamism create an additional barrier for women to enter the athletic arena -- 'You cannot represent our nation without a veil, and you cannot participate in a FIFA/IOC tournament unless first veiled.' This barrier is additive to all the social resistance already present towards Muslim women in sports By accepting the veil as a 'cultural norm' for Muslim women (one more often enforced by social mores and legislation than by personal choice) rather than the incandescent religious symbol it truly is, FIFA has been capitulated into giving up precious apolitical ideals. And as we can see, Muslim majority countries feel confident in calling for such demands even as their fellow Muslim majority nations prohibit half of all Muslims -- women -- from any form of competition.Permitting the hijab while playing soccer irreversibly compromises soccer's apolitical ideals and is a fundamental mistake. Until the arrival of the veil, no other space is as passionately defended to remain uncontaminated fut coins from sectarianism as football. But FIFA is hardly to blame. Speaking as a Muslim woman, change should not be on the shoulders of FIFA but instead firmly planted upon the cultural expression of faith that puts these female athletes in this untenable position, one advocated and enforced solely by conservative men. While I feel sympathy for female Muslim athletes who cannot play if they are not veiled, veiling is not an inviolable human right whereas the right to movement, including exercise and play very much is.Whatever princes and potentates may claim, Islam speaks for itself. Islam does not encompass the concept of veiling in a piece of cloth, but rather a demeanor of modesty, demanded of both men and women. No specific item of clothing is described in the Quran pertaining to the veil. Nowhere does veiling appear in the five pillars central to Islamic belief. Veiling is a cultural value, not an Islamic one. Furthermore, during his lifetime the Prophet Mohammed advocated competitive play for both men and women, advising that such play should even be part of healthy, joyful marriage. By coercing FIFA to yield their principles by falsely stating the veil is a cultural icon inseparable from the Muslim woman (including on the pitch) it is the neo-orthodox Islamists who have secured a colossal victory, one which signifies the encroaching public occupation of a constructed Muslim identity by Islamists. Their victory has brought an institution of extraordinary ideals into compromise. This victory comes at a price of one of the West's dearest ideals: egalitarianism and freedom from gender apartheid. Instead, in pursuit of well-intentioned but hapless tolerance we find ourselves pandering to Islamist ideals as we stand by powerless to intervene on behalf of the Saudi woman who seeks only to move and play as an athlete.If we allow FIFA to abandon its profound tenet -- 'For the Game, For the World,' we will find we have blown the final whistle on the power of football to unite an increasingly divided world.