Iranian Chess Master Refuses To Return After Being Photographed Without Required Hijab

We recently discussed the defection of Iran’s only Olympic female medalist due to the continuing discrimination and repression of women in that country. Now, Iranian chess master and referee, Shohreh Bayat, 32, has refused to return to Iran after pictures emerged of her without a hijab caused a controversy in the Islamic Republic. The decision is another painful example of the struggle of women under Islamic laws that deny them basic human rights.

Bayat was given the honor of being asked to referree the Women’s World Chess Championship in Shanghai this week. However, the publication of the photograph without her hijab sent Islamic conservatives into a frenzy with a slew of threats and calls for her arrest. Simply because she chose not to cover her hair.

The absurdity of her situation leaves most of us speechless. Islamic conservatives would rather chase successful women out of country than risk other women and girls would start to question the oppressive rules of their country.

Bayat said that the Iranian Chess Foundation sought to pressure her into a public apology. She refused. That act of principle and courage will hopefully inspire other women in countries like Iran and Saudi Arabia to continue the fight for equal rights and free speech. Women are being arrested for making their own decisions on questions of faith or expression. They are a symbol of courage for all of us who value human rights.

20 thoughts on “Iranian Chess Master Refuses To Return After Being Photographed Without Required Hijab”

  1. I hope she finds a safe country to live in, as many women have been suffering in Iran since 1979. Iran and other countries were far more free than they are today, but there are countries that are worse that I would not go to under any condition.

  2. Instead of economic sanctions, that rarely work (ie: 50+ years in Cuba and N.Korea), we could expand upon the “Fair Trade” product labeling system to include human rights, American style worker standards, etc. In other words would “consumers” pay an extra $0.10 for bananas from a nation with human rights over a despotic nation? Ronald Reagan would likely have supported such an action. Consumer dollars are extremely powerful at changing behavior and it satisfies conservative, progressives, libertarians and even Wall Street. If Iran was allowed to earn income with an incentive on human rights, that may accomplish human rights faster than sanctions.

  3. “Islamic conservatives would rather chase successful women out of country than risk other women and girls would start to question the oppressive rules of their country.”

    That would be true if Iranian women are free to leave the country. They are not.

    https://www.rferl.org/a/iran-restrictions-women-travel/24825464.html

    After the Shah fell, the country voted to become an Islamic republic. The question on the vote was literally, “Islamic Republic, yes or no.” Over 96% voted yes, which set up the new restrictive government based on Sharia law. Sharia law is incompatible with equal women’s rights.

    As I’ve remarked before, every time there is a revolution, such as an Arab Spring, the most organized group takes power. Many young people in Iran chafe under the repression. But are they the most organized group? If not, the next religious zealot group will form a coalition against the government that includes those who want a secular government and freedom, oust the current government, and set up the next repressive regime.

    So, guys, inshallah get organized or it will be a different name, same thing.

  4. An Iranian girl told me she’d been arrested for wearing nail polish and riding in a car with her maternal cousin. A boy with a different last name than hers. She was born here in the US but was in Iran visiting relatives. She was so frightened. Her father said if she was ever arrested, she had to call him before they took her away or he might never find her. Iran is not the West. Not at all. He had to bribe the judge with a property he still owned there, just to get it resolved immediately and leave the country. She said she’d never go back, and I don’t blame her.

    It is not safe for women in Iran.

    This is weird, because almost every Iranian woman I’ve met had a will of iron.

    It’s not safe for Bayat to return to her county. People have tried to equate the veil with indecency laws here in the US. Outside of San Francisco, you’re generally not allowed to walk around naked in public in the US. But if you get arrested in the US for topless sunbathing, you’re not going to receive nationwide death threats are be at risk of flogging. Same thing for the Amish girls in their modest dresses. If they don’t want to dress modestly, they are shunned and sent away from the community.

    If the Iranian regime survives shooting down a civilian aircraft, and then lying about it, then it will probably restrict female athletes from participating in international events, or they will assign them handlers like the Russians did.

    This is what happens when people don’t have individual rights. I found a Muslim website that talked about how women are free to wear the veil or not. It’s a personal choice, and they aren’t forced to do so. That’s total malarky in muslim majority countries.

    1. covering the hair was an act of modesty in the west as well for a long time. mennonites and amish still do it.

      i was told it’s one of the pre-Muslim tribal practices that got rolled into the religion as time went on. in Iran they’re really overboard on this.

      same thing the tae kwon do lady defector

      but Democrat leadership ie Pelosi the supposed champion of Women’s Rights are doing their best to help the mullahs. Figure that one out!

  5. Despite the best efforts of the Socialist Party of the USA to the contrary the yearning for basic freedoms continues. Another reason to deny the socialists approval by voting against them among their love affair with Marxist Leninism and it’s offspring attitudes.

  6. Miss Bayat was caught in a pickle here. One cant blame her for ‘not’ wanting to wear a hijab in China, a country that confines its Muslim population.

    1. they don’t confine them actually there are millions of Hui Min that is to say, Chinese Muslims, who move freely about the PRC and world as PRC citizens.

      However, Chinese ethnic Muslims have no had any propensity for acts of terror, which, when they have come, have come from Uighurs. so the policy is not entirely aribtrary, even if it’s excessive. One of many examples:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2014_Kunming_attack

      that being said, the PRC detention of many, many Uighurs with no provable ties to terrorism seems pretty questionable to me. A thing that’s mostly gone unnoticed in the West. Seems to me it has a dimension of ethnic conflict to it. see the term, “Sinicization”

      https://www.foreignpolicyjournal.com/2018/11/23/the-sinicization-and-suppression-of-chinas-muslim-uyghurs/

  7. Women – gays – Christians – converts – those who like free speech. All are condemned under Iranian rule to a life of fear, punishment and possible death. That’s why statements by Democrats and the Press in support of the mullahs and government of Iran were so despicable.

  8. That act of principle and courage will hopefully inspire other women in countries like Iran and Saudi Arabia to continue the fight for equal rights and free speech.

    Nothing about this controversy has a blessed thing to do with ‘equal rights’ or ‘free speech’. It does have to do with standards of public decorum, both those incorporated into statutes and regulations and those not so incorporated. (It also has to do with certain people’s level of emotional stability; you can see problematic people here: https://thefederalist.com/2016/09/15/watch-a-mob-of-yale-students-bully-a-professor-who-hurt-their-feelings/)

    1. TIA – parents have mistakenly raised a generation of the next adults to have an over sensitized limbic system. It’s fight or flight at…contrary opinions. They have been raised insulated from every upsetting thing, with a self centered ideology. They are free to offend anyone they want, but if anyone upsets them, it is those others who must change.

      And there is a growing trend that contrary opinions must not be heard. They jeer and shriek and blow whistles to keep conservatives from being heard.

      They must believe they’d lose the argument.

  9. Bayat was given the honor of being asked to referree the Women’s World Chess Championship in Shanghai this week. However, the publication of the photograph without her hijab sent Islamic conservatives into a frenzy with a slew of threats and calls for her arrest. Simply because she chose not to cover her hair.

    Welcome to the world of Woke Twitter. The people who behave this way in your own country commonly work on college campuses. If you want to see them, all you have to do is look around you.

    The writ of Iranian municipal authorities does not extend to China, which is the element of absurdity in this situation. Municipal ordinances which require head coverings are, of course, properly at the discretion of local communities.

    1. There was a Saudi princess who rode out here in the US at events. She was of course accompanied by male relatives. She wore a hijab under her helmet, and a loose shirt with long sleeves in the heat. Amazingly, she was allowed to wear breeches.

      Even though the US does not require Islamic garb, she was required to wear it. If a Saudi princess tries to defect they’ll send commandos after her no matter where she is.

    2. Twitter is a good application infested with crazed radical Leftists who make it a drag. I notice businesses use Twitter in spite of how disgusting and obnoxious it is. One hopes a rival will emerge.

    3. This also clarifies that you have the real Communists of the world who have the responsibility of actually running the biggest country in the world by population, that is to say the PRC China, and then you have the self described “anarcho-communists” in America such as the crazed Bernie campaign organizer named Jurek, who is basically a bomb-throwing revolutionary lawbreaker in waiting.

      The Communists which have the responsibilities of government, actually have to contend with reality, which offers a correction to horrible policies such as were pursued under Mao, and tempered under later regimes;

      while the would be murderers of today like the antifa or this Jurek character, are totally unmoored from reality

      pretty much anybody who calls themselves an anarchist is right on level with nutjobs who call themselves Satanists.

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