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In the Media

article imageSaudi threatens to withdraw from Olympics over hijab ban

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By Katerina Nikolas
Jul 29, 2012 in Sports
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Riyadh - Saudi Arabia has threatened to withdraw from the London Olympics following the ban on female judo competitor Wujdan Shahrkhani wearing a hijab whilst competing.
The participation of Saudi athletes Wojdan Ali Seraj Abdulrahim Shahrkani and Sarah Attar in the opening ceremony of the London Olympics was an historic moment, representing the first time female athletes from the hard line Muslim Kingdom have been allowed to compete in the international sports.
However, Saudi Arabia has now threatened to withdraw its athletes from the Games in response to a ban by the International Judo Federation on the wearing of the hijab during the competition. The ban affects Shahrkani, who was allowed to represent Saudi providing she adhered to the Islamic dress code in compliance with Sharia law.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) confirmed that Saudi Arabia is considering dropping out of the Games. An IOC spokesperson told the Telegraph "we have heard that the Saudis are not happy and we will have an urgent meeting, certainly in the next two days," to try to avert a Saudi withdrawal from the Games.
The presence of the two female athletes from Saudi Arabia has already proved controversial, even before they have competed in any events. As Digital Journal reported their participation has resulted in a backlash that has branded the two women the "Prostitutes of the Olympics."
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