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Hypocrisy at #Rio2016: Women shamed for hijabs and mini-skirts

Uniform regulations were relaxed by the international volleyball federation before the 2012 London Games [Twitter]

Date of publication: 9 August, 2016

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A photo of a hijab-wearing athlete has caused a stir online, while at the same time a British sports commentator has been shamed for wearing a 'revealing outfit'.

A photo of a hijab-wearing athlete at the Rio Olympics has caused a stir on social media.

At the same time a British sports commentator has been shamed for wearing a "revealing outfit".

One stand out image of the Olympics so far was from a women's beach volley ball match between Egypt and Germany, which pitted conservatively-attired Doaa al-Ghobashy against bikini-clad Kira Walkenhorst.

It has been labeled by many right-wing media outlets as an example of a "culture clash" between the West and Muslim world.

The UK's right-wing bikini-loving tabloid the The Daily Mail ran extensive coverage of Sunday's gamwith the headline: "The cover-ups versus the cover-nots: Egyptian and German beach volleyball players highlight the massive cultural divide between Western and Islamic women's teams."

The Sun - a tabloid infamous for its sensationalist articles about immigrants and "radical Islam" - followed suit with: "CULTURE SHOCK Rio Olympics 2016: Egypt v Germany beach volleyball clash shows colossal cultural divide between two teams."

On highly popular social news aggregation site Reddit, the picture made it to the front page with the caption: "cultural differences".

Unsurprisingly, as is the case with most Islam-related topics, the comment sections on these articles were in most cases filled with Islamophobic rhetoric. Some called the Egyptian athlete "oppressed" and demanded she show more skin.

Uniform regulations were relaxed by the international volleyball federation before the 2012 London Games so more athletes who might otherwise be turned off by the standard bikinis and board-shorts, were encouraged to compete in the competition.

The new rules have allowed women to wear shorts, long-sleeved shirts and body suits. Many non-Muslim players take up the option of full body-covering.

The commotion over her choice of dress, however, has not fazed Ghobashy, who told media after losing 2-0 to Germany: "I have worn the hijab for ten years. It doesn't keep me away from the things I love to do, and beach volleyball is one of them."

Meanwhile, back in the UK, as furious debate was being waged online about cultural differences between the West and Islam, a presenter's outfit on the BBC's Olympics coverage sparked yet another row about women's bodies.

Some viewers deemed presenter Helen Skelton's dress as too skimpy.

Helen Skelton became a trending topic online after observers thought her outfit during the swimming coverage revealed too much flesh.

Some Twitter users were quick to see the hypocrisy of the whole situation.

On the same day The Daily Mail praised the German volleyball players for their anti-Islamic bikinis, it featured the headline: "Helen Skelton sends viewers into meltdown as she presents #Rio2016 in very short skirt."

Does the image from Sunday's game amount to a "colossal culture clash"? Was Helen Skelton dress inappropriate? Let us know in the comment section.

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