Iran is again showing the world the face of religious extremism. Previously, we discussed how chess officials were under fire for cooperating in the championship in Iran, which imposes dress codes and religious restrictions on visitors (particularly women). Now Iran has barred Dorsa Derakhshani, 18, from competing at the Tradewise Gibraltar Chess Festival 2017, because she appeared without an Islamic head scarf. Her brother, Borna Derakhshani, 15, was the banned for playing against an Israeli opponent. This follows a horrific account of a girl beaten by religious police for simply wearing jeans with holes in them. The brother and sister were also barred from the national team for their transgressions.
The Iranian National Chess Team the siblings this week with an announcement from the head of the Iranian Chess Federation, Mehrdad Pahlevanzadeh. The question is whether the international chess bodies will ignore such abuses of players.
Pahlevanzadeh denounced the sibling as harming Iran by their actions. Ominously, Pahlevanzadeh promised that “We’re considering measures that will prevent similar incidents from taking place in future tournaments.” Notably, while Borna lives in Iran, Dorse lives in Spain.
In the meantime, the religious police were also busy on the streets this week. A fourteen-year-old girl and her friends has reported that she was snatched off the street by the morality police for wearing ripped jeans. She was out celebrating her birthday at the time. They were forced into a van where male officers pulled their hair and female officers attacked them. After the beatings, the girls were set free after written pledges saying they would not wear the ripped trousers again to follow Iranian religious dress code.
Another victory for religious orthodoxy in countries like Iran.