Wednesday, October 04, 2006

No racing for you, Little Schuie-

Being a Formula One fan, I have been keeping an eye on the female Iranian racer who has earned the sobriquet "Little Schumaker." (Although I will be happy when Big Schuie rests on his laurels and retires - IMO it will be good for the sport) I can't say I was surprised when I hear that she has been denied the ability to DEFEND HER CHAMPIONSHIP TITLE in Iran.

( You would see a hot pic of Lelah Seddigh HERE but Blogger has taken a crap on me. AGAIN.)

From Iran Focus:

Seddigh, 29, was walking towards her 1600cc Peugeot 206 at Tehran's Azadi stadium when stewards blocked her way, citing "security problems".

The snub followed days of wrangling with Iran's racing federation over her right to take part in an event she won two years ago on her way to becoming national champion. In the lead-up to the race, she was told her participation was not guaranteed but was advised to register her name. Her registration was passed after technicians gave her car the all-clear.
But it appears that the powers that be have their turbans in a wad over the pretty and petite Lelah. What a surprise that the charter members of the Iranian He-Man Woman Haters Club would not be wanting her fine self to appear on the winner's podium. Get a load of this:

Seddigh believes she was banned to prevent her earning enough points to repeat her championship success, which won her international fame but upset Iran's male-dominated religious ruling establishment.

"Most of the federation members were not happy to have a female champion and would have preferred a man," she said. "Since I won, they have even eliminated the winner's podium. They were afraid that I would win again and they would be obliged to show me on the podium."

Seddigh says a Muslim cleric has already issued a fatwa - a legally binding religious ruling - stating that there is no religious bar to women racing against men provided Islamic dress code is observed. She plans to use the fatwa if she fails to persuade federation officials to grant her permission to take part in future races.

The federation's vice-president, Hossein Shahryari, said Seddigh had been barred because of a government circular restricting women to female-only events. That decree has now been lifted, he said.

But he added: "Women are speaking highly of themselves and that causes men who sacrifice their lives in this sport disappointment. Women are not champions in this sport, they are only participants. If they observed Islamic regulations more they would not have such problems."

And if you and your fellow woman haters would join the 21st Century, YOU wouldn't have such problems either, Hossein.