Remarks courtesy Jihad Watch contributor Eric Schwappach:
TEHRAN: An American Muslim runner is to be the first woman to represent the US in Iran’s Islamic Women Games, although photographers will not be allowed to record the event to be held in Tehran from September 22 to 28.
Saira Kureshi, 26, will compete in the 800 and 1500 metre runs in the fourth all-women games, since they were launched in 1993 as a way for Iranian women to compete while observing their strict dress code of being covered head to toe.
[Male] coaches, referees and spectators are banned from attending the Islamic Women Games except for golf, shooting and archery, where participants are modestly dressed and veiled.
Only these three competitions are open to male spectators and can be photographed or filmed, as well as the opening and closing ceremonies since the women appear in Islamic wear.
Let us hope that Ms. Kureshi is mindful of the outcome for those women who fail to heed the dress-code.
In order to attract more athletes, this year non-Muslim women have been allowed to participate as long as they are on the national teams of their countries and agree to compete under the stipulated conditions.
Sportswomen from 48 countries, many of them Islamic, are coming to Tehran to compete in 18 sports. Iran’s Christian northern neighbour, Armenia, is sending 17 teams. Athletics, shooting, table tennis and taekwondo have attracted the most participants.
This approach is in line with Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s vision.
Although Iran has been approached by other Muslim countries such as Pakistan and Qatar wanting to host the games, Faezeh Hashemi, daughter of former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, who started the games in 1993 sees little chance of them leaving Iran.
“Other countries have different interpretations of Islam. I am not sure they would be able to hold the games like us with such observance of Islamic rules,” she said.
Translation: The Shi’a/Sunni enmity continues unabated.