Some of the world’s top chess players have decided to boycott this year’s Women’s World Championship in Iran because they refuse to wear headscarves as required by that country’s Islamic government.
The reigning U.S. Women’s chess champion took a stand on behalf of women’s rights.
It was not an empty gesture, but something that cost her a lot.
From The Blaze:
Nazi Paikidze is the reigning U.S. chess champion, but when the Iranian government told her she had to wear a hijab, the Muslim head veil, and restrict contact with men in order to compete in the world competition hosted by Iran this year, she refused. The “morality laws” were supported by FIDE, the international organization that coordinates the world chess championship event.
“By participating, I would be forced to submit to forms of oppression designed specifically for women,” Paikidze told Marie Clare magazine. “It sets the wrong example, particularly for young girls interested in chess.”
The international tournament starts in Tehran on Feb. 10, but nine of the 64 players who qualified are refusing to go. Four of them have said publicly that the boycott is in protest of Iran’s restrictive laws against women.