Nazi Paikidze is the current U.S. Women’s chess champion. And when Iran demanded she wear a hijab, she just took a giant stand for women’s rights and liberty.
This isn’t just a a simple, meaningless protest. Paikidze was set to compete on the world stage at the competition held in Iran this year. The international organization with coordinates the competition – FIDE- wanted to enforce Iran’s “morality laws” and the Iranian government wanted to have her cover herself in a hijab while restricting her interactions with men.
This is amazing:
“Nazi Paikidze is the reigning U.S. chess champion, but when the Iranian government told her she had to wear a hijab, the Muslim head veil, and restrict contact with men in order to compete in the world competition hosted by Iran this year, she refused. The “morality laws” were supported by FIDE, the international organization that coordinates the world chess championship event.
“By participating, I would be forced to submit to forms of oppression designed specifically for women,” Paikidze told Marie Clare magazine. “It sets the wrong example, particularly for young girls interested in chess.”
She recently explained her position on her personal Instagram account:
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.
Scheduled to end on March 5th, Paididize just gave up on the opportunity to win more than $100,000 in award money.
A message to the people of Iran: I am not anti-Islam or any other religion. I stand for freedom of religion and choice. ✌️ I’m protesting FIDE’s decision not because of Iran’s religion or people, but for the government’s laws that are restricting my rights as a woman. My personal experiences with Iranian people have been nothing but wonderful ❣️ One day I hope to visit Iran and see women having complete freedom and equality.
I miss playing chess (Photo from the US Champs 2015) pic.twitter.com/A325Sxxh7t
— Nazi Paikidze-Barnes (@NaziPaiki) February 18, 2017
Thank you Paididze for standing up to radical Islam and women’s rights. You’re taking a principled stand, and are a role model for many young women.
What do you think about Nazi Paikidze’s decision? Please leave us a comment (below) and tell us.