World Bulletin / News Desk
Headscarf-wearing Muslim women are making strides at the Olympic Games, a year after the Iranian women's soccer team broke down in tears at having to withdraw from a qualifying match because they wore hijabs.
Worn under a fencing mask, wrapped tightly in an elasticated bun for weightlifting or styled into a cap for shooting, the headgear is finally winning acceptance from sporting associations.
Neda Shahsavari of Iran (R) during her Women''s Single Preliminary Round match against Olufunke Oshonaike of Nigeria the London 2012 Olympic Games Table Tennis competition, London, Britain, 28 July 2012.(EPA)
This week judo sports authorities and the Saudi Olympic Committee confirmed they had reached an agreement allowing a Saudi judoka to compete with her hair covered, and last month soccer's rule makers also lifted their ban on the hijab.
The International Judo Federation had initially said Wojdan Ali Seraj Abdulrahim Shaherkani could not compete in a headscarf, which would have been a huge blow to aspiring Saudi sportswomen: she and runner Sarah Attar are the country's first women to compete at any Olympics.
Nur Suryani Mohamed Taibi of Malaysia competes in the womens 10 meter air rifle qualifying round during the London 2012 Olympic Games Shooting competition at the Royal Artillery Barracks, southeast of London, Britain, 28 July 2012.(EPA)
Islamic states Brunei and Qatar have also sent female athletes to the Games for the first time.
The modest forms of dress demanded by more conservative societies or chosen by more pious women have long been a brake on female participation in sport, not only for Muslims but also for women of other faiths.
"Many Muslim women both in Britain and around the world are excluded or discouraged from taking up sports owing to their desire to maintain stricter standards of modesty than sports clothes allow," said Emma Tarlo of the department of anthropology at Goldsmiths, University of London.
The Egypt women''s double sculls train during the London 2012 Olympic Games Rowing competition at the Eton Dorney rowing centre near the village of Dorney, west of London, Britain, 27 July 2012.(EPA)
"And Muslims are not alone. A number of women from Hindu, Sikh, and orthodox Jewish backgrounds as well as people with weight issues are put off swimming by the skimpiness of most existing styles of swimwear," she added.
Abdelaziz El Jaouhari, the head of the mosque committee, told Le Monde “Besides discriminating against us [Muslims], I don’t see any reason to oppose this project.”
In a letter to Prime Minister Abdelilah Benkirane's Justice and Development Party, Isaac Charia requested party membership.
Iskander Van Doorn, 22, followed in his father Arnoud's footsteps by leaving the far-right movement and accepting Islam.
The American Muslim Society and Egyptian Americans demand the release of a U.S. citizen held behind bars in Egypt for "supporting" the government of the country's toppled leader Mohamed Morsi.
Organizers said nearly 10,000 people had attended the opening and hoped that more will come before the spiritual event wraps up on Monday afternoon.
Abdelaziz El Jaouhari, the head of the mosque committee, said in a statement that the letter had called Muslims "cockroaches" and wished new mayor Cyril Nauth good luck in cleansing the "Muslim race".
According to a press statement by Dr. Sevim Erkmen to the Turkish Agency Cyprus (TAK), Shaykh Nazim is receiving the necessary treatment but still remains in a serious condition.
A group of young British Muslim men have come out with their story about how the MI5 threatened to place them on the terror list and hurt their families if they did not spy on their fellow Muslims.
The surveillance program deployed undercover detectives in Muslim neighborhoods to eavesdrop on conversations and watch day-to-day activities. Police also infiltrated mosques and student groups.
Alexandroupoli's main church condemned the attack on a mosque that saw unidentified people placing a pig's head outside of it.
Athens mayor candidate Aris Stiliotopulos is reported to have said that issues such as these should be decided by the people, but in classic right-wing rhetoric added that Athens has 'no more room for asylum seekers'.
The plan is part of a wider project by the TDV in building mosques for Muslims who live in the Caribbean.
Thousands of Muslims have been detained in Kenya in recent weeks.
The Syrian Islamic Council, a body made up of prominent Islamic scholars and representatives of Turkmen, Kurdish and Arab groups, said it will focus on dealing with religious matters between opposition groups and work with humanitarian aid foundations.
Imam Magomed Zakaryayev was killed when two masked assailants opened fire on him in the Kizil-Yurt district.
It will be the first time since the Friday sermon is read in Turkish in Erbil since the end of the Ottoman Empire.