Jun 272011
 

Muslim weightlifter fights to compete, hijabi-style

Short form: a female Muslim weightlifter refuses to bare her arms and legs while weightlifting, which the rules demand. So she wants the rules to change to suit her desires.

I say… go for it! For too long athletics has been driven by “who actually has the abilities required.” We’re past such elitism now. So… let weightlifters compete with their bodies hidden. Soon, we will see some real progress in exoskeletons like the Playco Armboy (a subsidiary of Yoshimoto Cyberneticso). And then we can eliminate the need for the athelete altogether, and go to a purely robitic form of competition.

 Posted by at 8:55 am
  • Sometime back I found your blog through Secret Projects and have been an almost daily visitor ever since. While I may not agree with everything you post, over all we share numerous view points and opinions. That said I have to disagree with the characterization of the female weight lifter in this post. My fiancee is Muslim (I am an agnostic) and through her eyes I can understand what happened here. This is not a case of changing the rules to fit her desires but rather a request that would allow her to remain appropriately dressed in accordance with her religious beliefs. Islam teaches modesty for women to include covering the legs, arms, and hair while in public. Personally I don’t agree with this requirement but will respect the rights of whomever chooses to follow the requirements of their religion.
    In my opinion there should be a dialog of understanding between the athlete and the ruling body that would approach this matter logically.
    Now to stop rambling before the Republican Party reascends my standing as a Conservative.

    • admin

      > I may not agree with everything you post

      Well, nobody’s perfect. You can dream that one day you’ll come around.

      > This is not a case of changing the rules to fit her desires but rather a request that would allow her to remain appropriately dressed in accordance with her religious beliefs.

      What’s the difference? The rules are what they apparently are; she wants the rules to change. Not for any *practical* reason, but to suit her opinions regarding “modesty.”

      > I don’t agree with this requirement but will respect the rights of whomever chooses to follow the requirements of their religion.

      Sometimes the “requirements of their religion” causes believers anything from inconvenience to distress to death. Imagine someone stranded on a desert island with no source of protein except for wild pigs. Some people are either going to have to suck it up and behave in a practical way that accommodates the realities of the situation; others are going to experience the wonders of malnutrition. Similarly, if a woman wants to enter the Miss USA pageant, she’d better get used to the idea that part of the gig is prancing around in attire that pretty much *nobody* would see as “modest.” Desiring that the Miss USA pageant change the rules to accommodate her preferences is, to me, little different than desiring that some weight lifting organization do the same.

      > there should be a dialog of understanding between the athlete and the ruling body that would approach this matter logically.

      How about this for a compromise: “All weight lifters will compete bare-ass naked.” That’ll separate the weigh lifters who are serious from those who aren’t.

      > the Republican Party reascends my standing as a Conservative.

      I suspect “Hi, I’m an agnostic married to a Muslim” will go pretty far towards that goal. Announce “Hi, I’m an atheist” and a good chunk of ’em will want to show you the door right then and there.

  • Michael Holt

    I suppose your proposal would be a natural progression. We now have rules concerning hiring that don’t address competence; extending them to other activities would appear to be the expected evolution. When gets to its extreme edge, you can find me in porn movies.