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Hijab Soccer Ban Upheld, Little Muslim Girl Suffers

From an outraged Toronto Star:

Hijab ban in soccer is upheld

Ruling upsets family of Ottawa girl, 11, who was ejected from Quebec game

Mar 04, 2007

Debra Black
Staff Reporter

An 11-year-old Ottawa girl who was ejected from a soccer game because she was wearing a hijab is disappointed that the sport’s international governing body has decided to uphold the referee’s decision.

The International Football Association Board had been asked to consider the case of Asmahan Mansour, who was recently ejected from an indoor game in Laval, Que., for wearing a headscarf. The referee said the hijab, traditional headgear for Muslim girls, was a safety concern.

An official of the IFAB, meeting yesterday in Britain, said the existing rules were acceptable.”If you play football, there’s a set of laws and rules and Law 4 outlines the basic equipment,” said Brian Barwick, chief executive of the English Football Association, an IFAB member.

“It’s absolutely right to be sensitive to people’s thoughts and philosophies, but equally there has to be a set of laws that are adhered to, and we favour Law 4 being adhered to.”

Law 4 states a player “must not use equipment or wear anything that is dangerous to himself or another player (including any kind of jewellery).”

Asmahan was disappointed by the board’s decision, her father, Youssef Mansour, told the Star.

He said Asmahan and her mother, Maria, had left their Nepean home yesterday to get away from media calls.

“The hijab is part of her religion. She chose to wear it and I don’t think there is any reason for her to stop wearing the hijab,” said her father. “There was no problem before. She has played lots of sports and suddenly this comes out of nowhere.”

Earlier yesterday, Maria Mansour said the board should clarify its rules.

“I truly think they should have (overridden) what Quebec’s rule is,” she told Canadian Press by phone from Ottawa. “(Asmahan) is still hoping that Quebec will remove that rule someday so she will be able to play (in Quebec).”

Asmahan’s team pulled out of the indoor championship last Sunday in protest of a ruling by a referee, who is Muslim, that Asmahan could not wear a hijab during the match.

A spokesperson for the Quebec Soccer Federation said the hijab violated a “no-headgear rule” set by the sport’s governing body for safety reasons.

The president of the Canadian Soccer Association defended the original decision and the board’s decision, referring to soccer’s international governing body, known as FIFA.

“The rule is very clear and FIFA already today has said that it’s up to the referee’s discretion,” said Colin Linford. “We have said from the start … that we are complying with FIFA’s rules. It’s in the hands of the referees.”

It’s so sad that this little girl is upset.

But she would have been the first to complain if her neck had been broken because of this thing.

The amazing thing is how many articles have been written about this. Apparently the Muslims want to keep the story alive to prove how horribly they are mistreated in the West.

This article was posted by Steve on Sunday, March 4th, 2007. Comments are currently closed.

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