Indian Shooter Heena Sidhu Withdraws From Airgun Competition In Iran, Refuses To Wear A Hijab

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India’s pride, the former world number one pistol-shooter and the defending champion Heena Sidhu has pulled out of the 9th Asian Airgun Shooting Championships scheduled to be held in December in Iran on the issue of compulsory dress code for women athlete to wear hijab.

In her recent statement given to Times Of India she said “Forcing tourists or foreign guests to wear ‘hijab’ is against the spirit of the game. Since I don’t like it, I have withdrawn my name,”. She further said “You follow your religion and let me follow mine. I’ll not participate in this competition if you are going to force me to comply with your religious beliefs,”

While the Other shooters in the Indian team are ready to follow the rule of hijab she said its her personal choice to not wear it and she stated “Im not a revolutionary. But I feel that making it mandatory for even a sportsperson to wear hijab is not in the spirit of a Sport.”

Dress Code on the tournament official website stated “Women’s clothing in the shooting range and public places is required to conform to the rules and regulations of I. R. Iran.”

National Rifle Association of India president Raninder Singh told “We have good ties with the Iranian shooting federation and we respect their culture and tradition. Whoever goes to Iran- tourists or diplomats- wears the hijab. Except Heena, all other Indian women shooters have accepted it,”

Some of her recent tweets below:

This is not the first time she pulled out of this tournament also in the year 2013 because of the issue of dress code she didn’t participate in that, which was also held in Iran.

In the year 2013 when same thing happened in an interview given to Mumbai Mirror she said, “The event in Iran, where the female shooters will have to wear a headscarf during the competition will need a different kind of practice. I am not used it and to get used to it I will have to practice for a minimum of three weeks. It will require a special kind of training and time dedicated specifically for it,”

At that time when she was recovering from injury she said “instead of wasting my time and energy on preparing for the event in Iran, I would rather complete my rehabilitation”.

We would like to say only one thing to our beloved Heena Sidhu “BRAVO!!!” and “Respect”


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