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Thread: Skater, Zahra Lari, makes history

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    Skater, Zahra Lari, makes history

    From the sand dunes of the Rub al Khali desert to the snow-capped peaks of the Dolomites in northern Italy, Emirati teen Zahra Lari made figure skating history this week.

    The 17-year-old not only became the first figure skater from the Gulf to compete in an international competition but the first to do so wearing the hijab, an Islamic headscarf.
    http://www.france24.com/en/20120414-...princess-hijab

    ...her dream is to represent the UAE at the Olympics.

    She came a step closer to achieving that goal when the Olympic champion, Evan Lysacek, asked to skate with her twice when he was visiting the capital - a moment Zahra described as the most significant and rewarding of her skating career.
    http://www.thenational.ae/archived/s...-history-books

    This is really neat! Here's hoping she does well in the future!:)

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    Fascinating! I wish her the best. It's always wonderful to see someone from a newly competing country join international skating.

    It's interesting that before now, the one sport that many "covered women" from really conservative countries such as Iran have competed in at the Olympics has been marksmanship. It seems counter-intuitive, but it's logical when you think about it, because the women can be completely covered up and don't do anything that's strenuously physical in front of male spectators. I'm thrilled to see that a girl who dresses so modestly has figured out a way to take part in skating.

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    If the lack of physically strenuous activity were a major factor for muslims, then ice dancing would have been dominated by covered women long ago ...

    Last year there was a big hallabaloo about an American Muslima weightlifting with a full Muslim garb. Eventually they said she could compete as long as her clothing was tight enough to see if her joints locked out or not, which is important in Olympic weightlifting.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j2dxBfxcUCE

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    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brightphoton View Post
    If the lack of physically strenuous activity were a major factor for muslims, then ice dancing would have been dominated by covered women long ago ...
    Ice dancing is physically strenuous. A 4 minute routine is one continuous footwork sequence done while picking up an 100 pound weight 3 or 4 times. Maybe one resting spot.

    It certainly could be done in a hijab. If Karen Chen can do a triple lutz holding 2 huge fans, anything is possible.

    Congratulations to Zahra Lari for following her dream, and opening a door for others!

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    But Karen Chen weighs less then the fans.

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    Quote Originally Posted by brightphoton View Post
    If the lack of physically strenuous activity were a major factor for muslims, then ice dancing would have been dominated by covered women long ago ...

    Last year there was a big hallabaloo about an American Muslima weightlifting with a full Muslim garb. Eventually they said she could compete as long as her clothing was tight enough to see if her joints locked out or not, which is important in Olympic weightlifting.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j2dxBfxcUCE
    Yes, but Photon, any activity where a woman and a man are in a hold together....

    I can't think of another way to say what I mean besides "physically strenuous," but if an athlete has to wear a lot of clothes, she's at too great a disadvantage in terms of speed in track and field and other activities. Riding is probably out because the rider must sit astride--in some cultures, women are not even allowed to ride bicycles. I'm still trying to think of the best phrase.

    The weightlifting I hadn't heard about, That's interesting.
    Last edited by Olympia; 04-16-2012 at 06:29 AM.

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    In my book, if you're doing a foxtrot, you don't get to be called a sport. Their lifts are nothing compared to what are pairs skaters doing. That being said, the dances are entertaining, there is a degree of athleticism required, and the fans are hilarious too. I heartily anticipate the demands for the smelling salts when they see the new hip hop dances.

    All figure skaters are fully covered anyway; it only looks like they're wearing less because their pants and shirts are made of illusion fabric. So the only difference for muslims is the scarf on their head, which will help keep them warm and cozy. Most other winter sports, like skiing, have fully-clothed participants.

    I am also not completely convinced that even summer sports are particularly bad for covered women. I remember the Beijing and Athens Olympics had a controversy for expensive, full-bodied suits that swimmers could wear that was even better than wearing a speedo, possibly leading to an unfair advantage. Ballet dancers typically have worn tights, male gymnasts wear those white pants, female swimmers wear a sort of pant-suit, etc. Anyway, I think the modesty issue is a red herring. Personally I think muslim men were afraid the women would be better at them at their own sports and decided to make a bunch of silly rules so that women couldn't participate at all.

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    Its great that there are skaters from countries with no figure skating history, but competing at the olympics would be difficult, since the United Emirates arent even an ISU member, and she would also have problems with the headscarf, because ISU did a proposal for the next congress for not allowing religious symbols in the costumes.

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    Custom Title snowflake's Avatar
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    Another covered woman.

    Looks like pretty much the same head cover as Zarah's.

    Go Zarah

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    Mrs. Roman Kostomarov icedancingnut31's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by snowflake View Post
    Another covered woman.

    Looks like pretty much the same head cover as Zarah's.

    Go Zarah
    This is awesome! I converted to Islam in 2010 and I am a figure skater. I do it more recreationally, although I do compete in a few ISI competitions. I was very interested to see her skating outfits and how she managed to make them compatible with Islamic dress code. A muslim woman is supposed to cover everything but her hands, face and feet and shouldn't show the shape of her body. Figure skating outfits often don't really mix well with Islamic dress code since many times they are short, tiny, tight and too revealing for Islamic standards. I like her outfits however and it shows that you can skate while dressing modestly. The one thing I am wondering about is the ISU law, the hijab is an important part of a Muslim woman's modesty and her identity since it is a command of the religion to wear it. A woman cannot just simply remove it.

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    Off the ice Buttercup's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by icedancingnut31 View Post
    This is awesome! I converted to Islam in 2010 and I am a figure skater. I do it more recreationally, although I do compete in a few ISI competitions. I was very interested to see her skating outfits and how she managed to make them compatible with Islamic dress code. A muslim woman is supposed to cover everything but her hands, face and feet and shouldn't show the shape of her body. Figure skating outfits often don't really mix well with Islamic dress code since many times they are short, tiny, tight and too revealing for Islamic standards. I like her outfits however and it shows that you can skate while dressing modestly. The one thing I am wondering about is the ISU law, the hijab is an important part of a Muslim woman's modesty and her identity since it is a command of the religion to wear it. A woman cannot just simply remove it.
    I believe that the bolded part is not quite accurate - at least, not for all Muslim women, even religious ones. I am fairly certain that Muslims are supposed to dress modestly, but that there are different interpretations as to what this means. Without getting into the political aspects, I've read research that suggests that the more strict requirements are culturally rather than religiously based; but I am not Muslim myself, and I can't offer any sort of informed opinion on that matter. However, I have several Muslim friends and acquaintances, and I've seen a variety of approaches regarding how to dress - ranging from what you described to women who dress no differently than non-Muslims (except maybe not showing quite as much skin).

    That having been said, I've seen skaters cover their hair as part of their costume (e.g. Alexandra Zaretski, Elena Ilinykh), and if that's allowed, I don't see why a hijab shouldn't be. If we want to encourage skaters from different cultural backgrounds to become involved in the sport, it has to be done in a culturally sensitive way.

    Good luck with your skating, and good luck to Zahra Lari as well.

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    Mrs. Roman Kostomarov icedancingnut31's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buttercup View Post
    I believe that the bolded part is not quite accurate - at least, not for all Muslim women, even religious ones. I am fairly certain that Muslims are supposed to dress modestly, but that there are different interpretations as to what this means. Without getting into the political aspects, I've read research that suggests that the more strict requirements are culturally rather than religiously based; but I am not Muslim myself, and I can't offer any sort of informed opinion on that matter. However, I have several Muslim friends and acquaintances, and I've seen a variety of approaches regarding how to dress - ranging from what you described to women who dress no differently than non-Muslims (except maybe not showing quite as much skin).

    That having been said, I've seen skaters cover their hair as part of their costume (e.g. Alexandra Zaretski, Elena Ilinykh), and if that's allowed, I don't see why a hijab shouldn't be. If we want to encourage skaters from different cultural backgrounds to become involved in the sport, it has to be done in a culturally sensitive way.

    Good luck with your skating, and good luck to Zahra Lari as well.
    You are right. Islam has a vast variety of interpretations of what hijab is. Some of it is cultural and some of it isn't.
    Some Muslims think something like thishttp://i926.photobucket.com/albums/a...f/DSC06694.jpg works as hijab while other Muslims think a woman is not following proper hijab unless she is dressed like this:http://publicmoslem.com/wp-content/u...1/12/niqab.jpg .

    If you remove all cultural aspects of hijab and solely look at it from a religious perspective what I said before makes more sense since I was giving a general definition. The general guidelines that most Islamic scholars agree upon however is that the proper hijab should cover everything besides hands, feet and face and shouldn't show body shape.
    Last edited by icedancingnut31; 05-02-2012 at 04:32 PM. Reason: link issues

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    Trixie Schuba's biggest fan! blue dog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brightphoton View Post
    In my book, if you're doing a foxtrot, you don't get to be called a sport. Their lifts are nothing compared to what are pairs skaters doing. That being said, the dances are entertaining, there is a degree of athleticism required, and the fans are hilarious too. I heartily anticipate the demands for the smelling salts when they see the new hip hop dances.
    I must respectfully disagree. Ice dance is like running the steeplechase. Backwards.

    Also, the only difference between dance lifts and pairs lifts is where the woman is placed. Dance lifts and pairs lifts require an equal amount of strength from both partners. Also, there are more lifts in dance than in pairs. With funkier hand holds.

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    Custom Title skateluvr's Avatar
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    I wish there could be, and maybe eventually will be an understanding in the west that women's clothing has become way too sexual in especially young teenage girls. I am not a believer in islam nor a supporter of what happens in countries that must be ruled by the religion, but I hope that East and West will come together before we destroy each other and the cultures.

    I think it will be difficult to compete with such limitations in costuming for many reasons, but I am happy to see there are fathers who are willing to try to accept some change to allow their daughters to compete. I agree that there should be some guidelines regarding the use of religious symbols as it can offend people who take their symbology very seriously.

    I am glad there are Islamic women joining the sport, as every bridge between cultures may reduce the war so many see as inevitable between Islam/Christianity/Judaism.

    Here is to the day we women run the world, have equality everywhere, and yet comport ourselves with dignity in our manner of dress! Great to see Islamic women push forward into the sport!

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