With two provinces allowing religious head scarves to be worn on the soccer field, a Canadian Muslim association is lobbying the rest of the country - including Alberta - to follow suit.
The Canadian Council on American-Islamic Relations, based in Ottawa, has been pushing for the Canada-wide acceptance of the hijab on the soccer field for more than a year, spokesman Sameer Zuberi said yesterday.
He said he's frustrated that while the governing soccer bodies of B.C. and Ontario have deemed the hijab safe to wear, other jurisdictions have declared it a safety threat.
"It almost seems there's a question of whether we're going to accept the hijab in Canadian society," he said.
The controversy erupted in Calgary after 14-year-old Safaa Menhem was booted from a soccer match last Saturday because she wore a hijab.
The Alberta Soccer Association defended the senior referee's decision, saying the chin strap on the hijab is a choking hazard.