Indian pistol shooter Heena Sidhu has pulled out of the Asian Airgun Shooting Championship in Iran due to the compulsory hijab rule for all women athletes.
The former world number one thinks that forcing athletes to wear a hijab is against the spirit of a sport.
On her twitter account she posted in series of tweets clarifying her decision to withdraw from the event.
“Sport is an exhibition of sheer Human Effort Performance. Our ability to dig deep for Strength, Will Power and Determination.”
There have been reports abt me skipping the Asian air weapon competition in Iran due to their practice of making women wear hijab. (1)
— Heena SIDHU (@HeenaSidhu10) October 29, 2016
“This is d reason I compete n I cannot compete for anything lesser than this. But I wud also not have my personal opinion politicised,” Sidhu wrote on her twitter handle.
The championship is scheduled be held in Iran’s capital Tehran in December.
The two-time Olympian had written to the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) about her decision of withdrawing from the competition.
“I thank the NRAI for respecting my views n I wud also like 2wish luck 2 r team competing in Iran. Lets concentrate on competition dan hijab.”
She further said, “Im proud 2 b sportsperson coz ppl from diff cultures, backgrouds, sexes, ideologies, religion can cum 2gether n compete without biases.”
“Im not a revolutionary. But I feel dat making it mandatory for even a sportsperson to wear hijab is not in the spirit of a Sport.”
“There have been reports abt me skipping the Asian air weapon competition in Iran due to their practice of making women wear hijab.”
[highlight color=”blue”]The Twitterati praised her bold stand. [/highlight]
— कोमल 🙂 🇮🇳 (@Komal_Indian) October 29, 2016
More power to Heena for not bowing down to medieval monkeys and making a bold statement. https://t.co/MSLrD6EsLO
— Rofl Gandhi (@RoflGandhi_) October 30, 2016
— Gaurav Pandhi (@GauravPandhi) October 29, 2016
They say "beauty lies in the eyes of beholder" accordingly lust too must lie in the eyes of beholder. Why should I wear hijab? #HeenaSidhu
— Rubika Liyaquat (@RubikaLiyaquat) October 29, 2016
Absolutely with you @HeenaSidhu10. Forcing athletes to adhere to local dress restrictions at an international meet is poor.
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) October 29, 2016
Even SushmaSwaraj complied with forced hijab dress code in Iran by covering her head with a shawl. Well done #HeenaSidhu for taking a stand.
— SamSays (@samjawed65) October 29, 2016
Heena finished 14th after getting eliminated in the qualification round of 10m women’s air pistol in Rio Olympics in August. She had earlier won a gold at the 2013 World Cup as well as the Asia Rio 2016 Olympics qualifiers to claim her Rio Games berth.
(With PTI inputs)