Hey Saudis, Let the Women Play!

Time for the IOC to enforce it's no discrimination rule
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 14, 2008 10:42 AM CDT
Runner Mohammed Salman H. Al-Khuwaildi of Saudi Arabia carries his country's flag past some sinfully attired Chinese women during the Olympic Opening Ceremony.   (AFP/Getty)
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(Newser) – The most beautiful sight in the Olympics' opening ceremony came when Egypt’s 26 female competitors strode into the stadium, writes Mona Eltahawy, an Egyptian Muslim, in the Washington Post. Women also carried flags for Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, filling Eltahawy with pride. And then came Saudi Arabia—devoid of women, leading Eltahawy to think, "Yo, Saudi Arabia, how come there ain't no sisters on the team?"

“Disbelievers in the West,” wrote one Saudi cleric, want “to lure Muslim women out of their homes, and subsequently out of their headscarf too.” The many Muslim athletes in Beijing contradict this ridiculous reasoning. It’s time to enforce the IOC rules against discrimination. “If Saudi Arabia won't put women on the team,” Eltahawy writes, “then tell them not to bother showing up…in 2012.”