A Muslim organization has issued an edict demanding India's teen tennis sensation Sania Mirza cover up during matches, describing her short skirts and sleeveless shirts as "un-Islamic," newspapers reported Friday.
The 18-year-old Muslim tennis player, the first Indian woman to break into the top 50 WTA rankings, dismissed the fatwa, as the edict is known. "I have nothing to say about that," she was quoted as saying by the Hindustan Times newspaper.
A top cleric of the little-known Sunni Ulema Board said he issued the fatwa against the 18-year-old tennis player because of her "indecent dressing" on the court and in advertisements, the Hindustan Times said.
"The dress she wears on the tennis courts not only doesn't cover large parts of her body but leaves nothing to the imagination," the newspaper quoted, Haseeb-ul-hasan Siddiqui, the cleric, as saying.
He said Islam did not permit women to wear skirts, shorts and sleeveless tops in public and that she should cover up.
Mirza was ousted last week from the U.S. open in the fourth round _ the first Indian woman to make it that far in any Grand Slam event _ and has a growing following across India.
She's been profiled by the major papers, and there are several Web sites dedicated to her by fans in India, where Muslims account for about 130 million of the country's 1 billion people, most of whom are Hindu.
Siddiqui said he was worried Mirza was becoming a role model for younger generations of Muslim girls, reports the AP
Near the United Nations Glass Palace in New York, there is a metallic sculpture entitled "Evil Defeated by Good", representing Saint George transfixing a dragon with his lance. It was donated by the USSR in 1990 to celebrate the INF Treaty concluded with the USA in 1987