The Amateur Eye – What is a Hijab?

A hijab is a veil traditionally worn by Muslim women in the presence of adult males outside of their immediate family which covers the head and chest.  The term can further refer to any head, face, or body covering worn by Muslim women that conforms to a certain standard of modesty.

IM Nazi Paikidze apparently did research on this whole issue to discover that our state department, Canada and the United Kingdom had issued travel warnings to Iran because Iran continues to detain and imprison US citizens including students, journalists, academics on charges of espionage and posting a threat to national security.

With this published information she protested FIDE’s decision on the site, authoring a petition for this cause and offered two possible solutions for FIDE: 1. Change the venue or postpone the competition until another organizer is found to host the championship in a no conflict venue. 2. Require that wearing a hijab be optional and guarantee no discrimination based on gender, nationality, or any other human rights as pointed out in the FIDE handbook.

The petition was signed by 16200 signatures as of 10/21/16.  It has the support of US Chess president Gary L. Walters.  Garry Kasparov, a chess legend and the chairman of the human rights foundation on Twitter writing: “I fully support the US woman champion, N. Paikidze in her protest….Women’s rights are human rights.”

As a columnist, I do not want to become embroiled in lengthy discussions about this situation. I am not familiar with all the arguments but those expressed within the pages of Chess Life and New In Chess provide sufficient airing.  I have no control over what any government policy or ruling by powers within chess such as FIDE, USCF, or any other national entity wishes to pursue. None pay me any attention so my views remain my own. I do hope that some resolution can be found so that this great women’s tournament can be played and remain in force for all to enjoy.–Don.



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