Manama: Lawmakers here heaped praise on the members of Bahrain's women's basketball team for refusing to remove their hijab in an international competition.

"The attitude of our national team was honourable and truly indicated the players' deep commitment to Islamic values. They conveyed a strong and genuine message to the whole world that Muslims value their traditions and principles and are not ready to give them up for the sake of a game," said MP Ebrahim Busanadal.

"It is obvious that the struggle for wearing the hijab is long and arduous and is taking place in several countries, even in those that falsely claim that they promote democracy and the right of people to think and dress as they like. I salute all the members of the Bahraini delegation who fought for the right to allow the girls to keep their hijab," he added.

MP Mohammad Khalid, meanwhile, said their attitude deserved to be applauded by all people.

"You held our heads high by refusing to remove the veil for the sake of the game. You were right in wearing it and you were right in keeping it. We do understand your frustration when you were told that you would be losing the game against the Indian team if you did not remove the veil. But we sincerely applaud your decision to respect the precepts of your religion and to follow its teachings," the MP said.

Bahrain's first match in the Asian Youth Games in Singapore was mired with controversy after an official told the girls to take off their veils as this violates the Fiba dress code. The girls' refusal to take off their hijab resulted in the team conceding a walkover to India and the shocked Bahrainis burst into tears. The decision was later reversed after Bahraini officials protested.

How do you view the constant confrontations on hijabi women? Do you think professional fields like sports and politics should be completely separated from religion? Or would that curtail a woman's right to choose?

Your comments

Mr Mark of Sharjah, shame on you! What if a Christian was rejected by the communities for wearing a cross? Then it would not be democracy?
Abu Dhabi,UAE
Posted: July 04, 2009, 18:20

If the developed world does not have any problem in asking women to show their sporting skills in two piece bikini when playing beach volleyball, then why should they have problem in seeing the sporting skills of contestants in hijab. For argument sake you might say if you don?t want to adhere to dress code don?t participate in the tournament. I will say if you don?t assert yourself to change the rules for such international events then you will always be just a follower. Don?t you think its democratic for a large percentage of the world's population to ask for such benefits in international events. Kudos to Bahraini girls.
Tasin Junaidi
Posted: July 04, 2009, 16:24

God bless these girls.
Posted: July 04, 2009, 16:16

We salute the entire team. Our culture or tradition is above all.
Posted: July 04, 2009, 16:10

Bravo!! Bold decision.
Ghani Al Rahman
Posted: July 04, 2009, 15:52

I salute Bahraini girls. I am proud of all team members. I totally disagree with Mr. Rashid's (Muscat Oman) comments. We can't compromise in religious matters.
Shaheen Tabassum
Posted: July 04, 2009, 15:08

We should play the game in the spirit of the game, I personally don't think it's a grave issue if one is wearing a hijab or not, The officials should have allowed these girls to play and show their sporting skills and not be too concerned of their head gear. I am happy the girls took a right stand, even if they forfeited the game, they kept their hijab which is beautiful.
Posted: July 04, 2009, 15:06

Welcome to the world of democracy. Girls don't worry you already won ? our minds and hearts.
Syed Zakir
Posted: July 04, 2009, 14:01

The way Bahraini girls behaved is truly a lesson to the whole world that we can't give our priorities to anyone whatever it is! truly a respectable salute from my heart to the girls. it doesn't mean that they didn't win but they have won the whole worlds' hearts by doing such a wonderful thing!
Posted: July 04, 2009, 13:39

If some women have no shame in walking in the public with a two piece bikini why some one would be ashamed of trying to be modest?
Posted: July 04, 2009, 13:29

May the Almighty bless each one of the girls who stood for their dignity. Unlike otherwise perceived, this incident will send a message to the world that Muslim women do respect the veil, and voluntarily wear it in compliance with their values and honor of women.
Latif Shaikh
Posted: July 04, 2009, 13:08

Islam is not a restricted religion. if there is any restriction it also contains a general reason. women is not restricted to sit at home. she is also permitted to move around the world. as in sports and politics. she should move forward to achieve some good for herself and for her country and surroundings as well.
Khadija Khan
dubai,U A E
Posted: July 04, 2009, 12:59

What brings more reward to a Muslim woman, discarding her hijaab to satisfy the world desires, or keeping it on and being able to sleep with a clear conscience?
Posted: July 04, 2009, 12:37

Hats of to the Bahraini girls, they proved nothing is best in front of their religion and culture.
Posted: July 04, 2009, 12:31

Hats off to the team. If a sport person comes up with a new head band, cap or hair style it is promoted as style. When any Islamic or decent dress code is worn, which is not at all offensive, it becomes an issue and against the policy. Lets join hands in future and resist the injustice.
Posted: July 04, 2009, 12:14

Proud for the Bahraini girls that they didn't remove their hijab. Why don't the Muslim world start their own games?
Posted: July 04, 2009, 12:03

I very much respect these girls, and applaud them for sticking to their values and beliefs.
Zena Nassar
Posted: July 04, 2009, 12:02

Great! I salute and praise Bahrain's women's basketball team to stand against the world for their religion and its values. World leaders are always talking about globalisation but unfortunately are unable to accept values and cultures of each region and country which is what is causing harmful effect on global acceptance among the nations and is creating unnecessary frustration among common people.We live in a world of multi-cultural beliefs and we must respect each others beliefs what ever they might be. As a common person, we are more concerned to live in harmony and lead our lives peacefully. The constant attacks on the hijab have served nothing but widening gap between western and Islamic countries. My message to Bahraini team is that we have WON the game! We don't need to cry on something so small.
Asif Malek
Abu Dhabi,UAE
Posted: July 04, 2009, 12:00

I fail to understand why hijab is a problem. The way a woman has the right not to wear it, then why not the right to wear it? The basketball team should have been allowed to play so that the world could see that women in hijab can play as good as women without one. It would have created a better understanding towards this issue among people and could have helped get rid of the useless stigma attached to it.
Mohammad Eqbal
Posted: July 04, 2009, 11:41

You have proved that we should not make any adjustment or give up our faith for sake of the world. You are highly appreciated, and may the Almighty bless you.
Yasar Arafath
Abu Dhabi,United Arab Emirates
Posted: July 04, 2009, 11:02

Is the sports spirit flown away? why communities are narrow minded? sports should be separated from bias and other arguments, we should point the game activities not the culture, officials should see the game not the gamer.
Shahzad Shaikh
Posted: July 04, 2009, 10:45

Its we who have let us to be dictated, its high time Muslims kept their self respect by telling the world - unto u your faith and unto me my faith , Bravo to the Bahraini girls -- Muslim girls don't be pushed around in the name of democracy don't lose your dignity
Posted: July 04, 2009, 10:25

Who decides the Fiba dress conduct? It is strange that someone who wants to take part in the sport is discouraged due to their dress. I think the sport officials should be encouraged to changes the sport dress code.
Posted: July 04, 2009, 10:19

Hijab is considered one of the basic piece of clothing a woman has to wear as per Islam, I don't and can't think of any situation where it can really hamper with the activity. How can covering hair interfere with a game. Its purely biased view to take it otherwise.
Posted: July 04, 2009, 10:11

What is the difference if they play with hijab there is noting wrong if they play in hijab we haven't any right to hurt religious sentiments just we have to see the rules of games they are following or not.
Mohammad Nizam Al Deen
Posted: July 04, 2009, 09:42

That's great, at least these girls have values and shown others that whatever we do and wherever we go we are Muslims first and we do carry Islam in our daily lives. Hats off for these sisters.
Posted: July 04, 2009, 09:41

May the Almighty give these Bahraini women more respect and bless their faith in this world. This is a great teaching for all the women in the world. Games can be played while practicing religion.
Posted: July 04, 2009, 09:37

It was dark day when religion separated from human daily life. Do so called liberates really know what freedom means? If a person faces criticism while practicing good morals, for me its not freedom!
Posted: July 04, 2009, 09:27

People of different beliefs like Islam, Sikhism, Buddhism, etc adopt ways of life that include the dress code. While this may be appropriate for their individual communities, how can this be imposed on an international gathering especially sports which is competitive and every contestant is equal. One needs to adopt a common dress code in sports.
Posted: July 04, 2009, 08:36

No fields should be separated from religion, religion is the way of spending daily life. How the champions of democracy and human rights want to dictate/impose their wills only on specific teachings/values it is totally un-acceptable and it should be rejected by all neutrals in addition Muslim world should think of making decisions as a Muslim
Abdul Rashid
Abu Dhabi,UAE
Posted: July 04, 2009, 08:29

My hearty congratulations to the Bahraini basketball team you may have lost the match but you won by keeping your values intact. My congratulations also goes to the parents of the team members who have taught the greatest lesson to their child to keep family and traditions.
Posted: July 04, 2009, 08:15

A Muslim cannot separate his/her life from the religion. Islamic culture has its own unique in the life of Muslim.
Mawanella,Sri Lanka
Posted: July 04, 2009, 08:12

I standby Bahrain team. I am proud of them. Shame on officials. Well done Bahrain team.
Posted: July 04, 2009, 03:23

I salute your decision
Auckland,New Zealand
Posted: July 04, 2009, 02:37

Although its praiseworthy for Bahraini women to stick to the dress code, I don?t really support their act. Their taking off the veil would have not resulted in violation of Islam. I don?t know why Bahrain and other countries send their women to play matches which would have been seen many non-Muslims too. It does not make sense as many good Islamic women are playing their games nicely without veil or hijab. It?s high time us Muslims should avoid such hypocrisy instead!!
Posted: July 04, 2009, 01:55