I reported about this story 2 days ago. Now the mainstream media has picked up on it. There is no place for this kind of behavior in chess tournaments, regardless of the players’ religious beliefs or skin colors. My family and I have been victims of various types of discrimination for years. I hope the ECF will get to the bottom of this.
Muslim brothers ‘abused’ by rivals’ parents on chess trip
Wednesday 15 August 2012
A gifted young English chess player was physically assaulted and his family subjected to Islamophobic abuse by other parents during a recent competition in Austria, his father claims.
The alleged fracas has plunged the sport’s governing body in England – the English Chess Federation (ECF) – into a racism row amid claims that officials initially did not do enough to tackle the abuse.
Officials have belatedly begun investigating the incident and the Metropolitan Police is expected to start taking statements later today from those involved.
Suhayl Rahman, a maths teacher from Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, told The Independent that his three sons, Yousef, 13, Ibrahim, 10 and Ieysaa, seven, were subjected to abuse from other English parents during a junior chess championship in the Austrian town of Mureck.
All three are talented chess players and Ieysaa went on to win a bronze medal at the games. But the family claim their trip was marred by the increasingly hostile reception they received from the parents of fellow competitors.
According to Mr Rahman’s testimony, trouble began when his wife, Tomasina Contu, complained that the hotel they were staying in would not serve halal food despite assurances that their dietary requirements would be catered for. The competition was being held in the middle of Ramadan.
The abuse allegedly began with snide remarks but intensified throughout the two-week competition, with one parent allegedly spitting at Mrs Contu and another allegedly grabbing Yousef by the chest until blood was drawn.
At one point, Mrs Contu, an Italian-born convert to Islam who wears a hijab, even had to call for a police escort to take her from the venue back to the hotel because of concerns over her family’s safety.
Full story here.
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