Muslim women head to head, hijab to hijab

Women's boxing emerges in certain Middle Eastern countries.

Topics: Boxing, Broadsheet, Muslim Women, Love and Sex,

A new saying could start circulating among Middle Eastern boxing rings: Float like a butterfly burqa, sting like a bee.

OK, Muslim women aren’t exactly boxing in burqas, but they are knocking each other out in the ring while wearing hijabs. The Age reports that women’s boxing has emerged in certain Middle Eastern countries — like Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Syria and Tunisia. Keep in mind, though, that women’s boxing in the Middle East hasn’t arisen because of changing attitudes toward women but because of changing sporting standards — a country cannot enter male boxers into Olympic competitions unless it has a women’s team in the same sport.

It’s plain to see that cultural attitudes haven’t shifted along with Olympic standards. The four female Jordanian boxers profiled by the Age are not of the Muslim mainstream; three are Muslims of African descent, and one is a Christian. They’re also members of the police force to begin with, so it’s not as though boxing has become the workout of choice for Middle Eastern housewives. These scrappy sisters also face ringside disapproval: The Age quotes Ayman Awat, a male Jordanian boxer, who says, “I don’t agree with this at all. It’s a physical thing. They shouldn’t fight, they should stay at home. A woman should be a lady.”

You Might Also Like

The cultural significance of this emerging sport shouldn’t be overstated, but it does seem worth celebrating when hearing these women talk about their supportive fiancés and fathers — one woman impressed her pop by punching him in the shoulder to demonstrate her strength.

Tracy Clark-Flory
Tracy Clark-Flory is a staff writer at Salon. Follow @tracyclarkflory on Twitter and Facebook.

More Related Stories

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 8
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Sonic's Bacon Double Cheddar Croissant Dog

    Sonic calls this a "gourmet twist" on a classic. I am not so, so fancy, but I know that sprinkling bacon and cheddar cheese onto a tube of pork is not gourmet, even if you have made a bun out of something that is theoretically French.

    Krispy Kreme

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Krispy Kreme's Doughnut Dog

    This stupid thing is a hotdog in a glazed doughnut bun, topped with bacon and raspberry jelly. It is only available at Delaware's Frawley Stadium, thank god.


    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    KFC's Double Down Dog

    This creation is notable for its fried chicken bun and ability to hastily kill your dreams.

    Pizza Hut

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Pizza Hut's Hot Dog Bites Pizza

    Pizza Hut basically just glued pigs-in-blankets to the crust of its normal pizza. This actually sounds good, and I blame America for brainwashing me into feeling that.

    Carl's Jr.

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Carl's Jr. Most American Thick Burger

    This is a burger stuffed with potato chips and hot dogs. Choose a meat, America! How hard is it to just choose a meat?!

    Tokyo Dog

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Tokyo Dog's Juuni Ban

    A food truck in Seattle called Tokyo Dog created this thing, which is notable for its distinction as the Guinness Book of World Records' most expensive hot dog at $169. It is a smoked cheese bratwurst, covered in butter Teriyaki grilled onions, Maitake mushrooms, Wagyu beef, foie gras, black truffles, caviar and Japanese mayo in a brioche bun. Just calm down, Tokyo Dog. Calm down.


    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Limp Bizkit's "Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water"

    This album art should be illegal.

  • Recent Slide Shows



Comment Preview

Your name will appear as username ( settings | log out )

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href=""> <b> <em> <strong> <i> <blockquote>