Task 2C: The Muslim hijab in volleyball

For Task 2C, you are asked to discuss why you think the wearing of the hijab by the Egyptian beach volleyball women’s team at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games was such a debated issue, after reading the text ‘Volleyball in a Hijab’ from BBC News in Appendix 4.

First, we will outline the article and then give you some points for a discussion of the hijab debate.

Outline: Volleyball in a Hijab

“Volleyball in a Hijab” is an article from BBC News published in 2016, during the Rio Olympic Games.

The article includes two pictures of a female volleyball player wearing a hijab whose skin is mostly covered playing opposite to another player wearing a very revealing volleyball bikini, and asks the question “Does this picture show a culture clash?”.

The article presents the public stir caused by the pictures of the volleyball teams from Egypt and Germany competing against each other at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. British and American newspapers called it a culture clash, but the tweets of columnists and other people further debated the issue. Some, like Bill Weir from CNN, decided to see it as evidence that sports bring different cultures together and have a unifying power. Others disagreed.

The article argues that culture clash is not an appropriate definition for what happened at the sports competition and that the pictures only caused a cultural shock.

The article also informs the reader that up until 2012, Olympics female volleyball players had to wear a bikini uniform, but the Olympic Commission introduced a last-minute concession in 2016. Doaa Elghobashy, the Egyptian woman wearing a hijab in the photos, claimed that she does not feel the hijab pr...

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