She’s a Brilliant Chess Grandmaster, and She Stood Up to Iranian Head Scarf Bullies. [VIDEO]

She’s a Brilliant Chess Grandmaster, and She Stood Up to Iranian Head Scarf Bullies. [VIDEO]

She’s a Brilliant Chess Grandmaster, and She Stood Up to Iranian Head Scarf Bullies. [VIDEO]

One of the most plucky women from this easily-triggered, #MeToo generation is a 29-year-old from India you’ve never heard of. However, you should know how she stood up for her rights in the face of Islamic oppression.

Her name is Soumya Swaminathan, and not only is she courageous, she’s also brilliant. That’s because Soumya is a woman Grandmaster Chess champion, as well as a former World Junior Girls’ champion.

So what makes her brave? It’s because she refused to bow to the Muslim overlords in Iran.

Next month the Asian Team Chess Championship will be held in Hamadan, Iran, and Soumya was set to participate as a member of the Indian team. However, Iran also has that compulsory head scarf rule for women. And Soumya was not about to bow to their religious demands.

She wrote on her Facebook page:

“I do not wish to be forced to wear a headscarf or burqa. I find the Iranian law of compulsory headscarf to be in direct violation of my basic human rights, including my right to freedom of expression and right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. It seems that under the present circumstances, the only way for me to protect my rights is to not go to Iran.”

She added that while she is willing to make adjustments for chess competitions, “some things simply cannot be compromised.”

Soumya’s father supports her. “As a father, I felt very sad because it is an important tournament,” he said. “But sometimes you have to take a stand.”

As for the All India Chess Federation — well, let’s say they’re a bit less supportive. They called her withdrawal “unfortunate,” and are more concerned about the loss of a ‘strong player.’ Moreover, they prefer to kowtow to Iran’s demands, saying “The World Chess Federation’s stand is to respect local laws, the law of the land.”

Well, that sounds all fuzzy and multicultural, doesn’t it? However, Soumya isn’t the first woman to balk at oppressive Iranian rules. In 2016, her fellow countrywoman Heena Sidhu, an Olympian and world champion shooter, also refused to compete in Iran. And also in 2016, American woman chess player Nazi Paikidze also boycotted the Women’s World Chess Championship in Tehran, Iran, saying, “I will NOT wear a hijab and support women’s oppression.”

Meanwhile, back here in the States, Lena Dunham whines about guys who tell her to ‘watch her step.’ She said she’d rather ‘fall into one million manholes.’ And the singer named ‘Pink’ made an oh-so-brave stand against Sea World, demanding that they ‘stop being bullies’ and release their orcas, according to the feminist website Jezebel.

You know, important stuff like that.

But I wonder if any of these feministas have ever spoken out against Islamic bullies in nations like Iran? I wonder if they protested the February arrest of 29 Iranian women who ditched their head scarves? Or the arrest of their female attorney, who just went to prison?

Yet a largely unknown Indian woman has shown more strength of character in facing down true oppression than any celebrity feminist. She gave up an honor and further renown as a chess champion rather than her rights as a free woman. Hers is a story we should all know about.

Written by

Kim is a pint-sized patriot who packs some big contradictions. She is a Baby Boomer who never became a hippie, an active Republican who first registered as a Democrat (okay, it was to help a sorority sister's father in his run for sheriff), and a devout Lutheran who practices yoga. Growing up in small-town Indiana, now living in the Kansas City metro, Kim is a conservative Midwestern gal whose heart is also in the Seattle area, where her eldest daughter, son-in-law, and grandson live. Kim is a working speech pathologist who left school system employment behind to subcontract to an agency, and has never looked back. She describes her conservatism as falling in the mold of Russell Kirk's Ten Conservative Principles. Don't know what they are? Google them!


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