In October 2016 Nazi Paikidze-Barnes, a Georgian-American is the U.S. Chess Champion and Olympic team member and she has made good on her decision to boycott the World Championship competition. She announced in October that she would boycott the Women’s World Chess Championship 2017 in Tehran, Iran due to its hijab dress code. Iran demanded foreign women submit to their dress code.
The best-ranked female chess player in the United States said she would rather sacrifice her career than submit to demands to wear a hijab at the next world championship.
Her actions are heroic, and it exposes the National Organization for Women for what they are. We hear crickets from NOW. They are nothing more than window dressing and tools of the far-left.
Paikidze-Barnes said that she has received a lot of positive feedback and appreciation from Iranian women who have to face this type of oppression every day.
No matter how anyone tries to make excuses for Islam, the hijab is a sign of oppression of women.
This will harm her career but doing the bidding of an oppressive regime is not a price she will pay.
In an interview with the founder of My Stealthy Freedom, a campaign against Iran’s hijab laws, she said: “I will NOT wear a hijab and support women’s oppression. Even if it means missing one of the most important competitions of my career.”
She received support for her stance from the United States Chess Federation, as well as prominent players Nigel Short and Garry Kasparov. Her online petition asking for the championship to be moved or the hijab laws to be relaxed received over 15,000 signatures to no avail.
It has been pointed out in this context that the U.S. Department of State has issued a warning that there is a “risk of arrest and detention of U.S. citizens,” and also states that travelers “should very carefully weigh the risks of travel and consider postponing their travel.”
At the FIDE General Assembly during the 42nd Chess Olympiad in Baku in September 2016, the organizational rights to the event were awarded to Iran, who holds the Championship in Tehran from February 10th to March 5th 2017. They are currently underway.
No other city put in a bid. England and Canada sit on the FIDE assembly but didn’t step in.
Kateřina Němcová, a foreigner who plays for the U.S. team, travelled to Iran in Paikidze-Barnes’ place.
But Paikidze-Barnes is not alone. One other woman is standing up for women’s rights – the former world champion.
— Nazi Paikidze-Barnes (@NaziPaiki) January 8, 2017
This is a post for those who don’t understand why I am boycotting FIDE’s decision. I think it’s unacceptable to host a WOMEN’S World Championship in a place where women do not have basic fundamental rights and are treated as second-class citizens. For those saying that I don’t know anything about Iran: I have received the most support and gratitude from the people of Iran, who are facing this situation every day. Thank you MyStealthyFreedom for sharing my interview.
The safety issue is also a major concern.
— Nazi Paikidze-Barnes (@NaziPaiki) September 27, 2016