The Women’s wing of IKRAM expresses our regret and disappointment over the decision of FIBA to bar the women athletes from wearing hijab (the muslim dress code), forcing the women basketball team from Qatar to withdraw from the competition against the Mongolian team in the recent Asian Games 2014 held in Incheon , South Korea.
This is an outright discrimination against Muslim women athletes.
IKRAM’s Women Wing takes pride and unequivocally supports the firm made by the Qatari Women basketball team in defending their rights to uphold their religious tenets.
Their refusal to abandon hijab sends a clear and strong message to the sports governing federation and the world that the ban is totally uncalled for, and a form of discrimination towards Muslim women.
Their presence in this prestigious event shows that they were prepared to participate but the restriction of wearing hijab on them indicates the organisers unreadiness to embrace diversity and differences.
The hijab restriction is a clear contradiction to the International Olympic Organising Committee’s spirits to accommodate the diverse ethnic cultures of the various participating nations in this year’s sports event as reflected in the Incheon Asian games slogan of “Diversity Shines Here”.
The Women’s Wing of IKRAM is also in the opinion that the hijab restriction is going against the basic human rights of an individual to uphold their own religious beliefs.The world of sports should not be excluded from fulfilling this basic human rights.
We therefore, call upon the Malaysian Government, being a respected Muslim nation, to voice an official protest against this discriminatory move by the Sports organiser through its diplomatic means.
We also urged the International Federation of Basketball Association (FIBA) to follow the footsteps of FIFA and several other international sports association to make necessary ammendments to their rules and regulations to allow athletes to adorn sportswear which upholds their religious beliefs.
Such adjustment would reflect the maturity in the sports arena in respecting and accomodating the diversity of belief, culture and customs of the athletes.
DATIN PADUKA HAJJAH CHE ASMAH IBRAHIM
Head of Women Wing
Pertubuhan Ikram Malaysia
27 September 2014