April 10, 2005

Islamic Solidarity

Covering an event that has been largely inaccessible to Westerners, Alan Hubbard of The Independent has an insider's view of the first-ever Islamic Solidarity Games being held in Saudi Arabia.

No alcohol, no women, and no Saudi women allowed to watch. Here is the closest a sports event has been to the days of the original Olympics in Ancient Greece, where females were also forbidden from playing and peeping.

Worth a read.


Anonymous said...

this is another joke... dont get me started about islam and women... why we tolerate this blatant discrimination is impossible to fathom...WM-K1-91

Ralph Hickok said...

The Ancient Greeks at least had events, such as the Heraean Games, for women athletes. (Men weren't allowed to attend.)

Amateur said...

Yes, the comparison to the Ancient Olympics left me more than a bit cold.

WM-K1-91, I'm not sure what you would suggest we should do about "tolerating" this event. We weren't invited, so we can't even boycott.

I suppose we could hope that the IOC would use its power to agitate for change in the worst offenders, but that power seems fairly limited in this case. The participating countries are extremely insular and generally 98-pound weaklings in international sport, so even Olympic sanctions would have little effect.

I suppose that there is a parallel to be drawn with South Africa, but I think in that case the strong historical connection to Europe and an ingrained sporting cultore made the South Africans more anxious to be included in the Olympic movement.