CAIR-CAN APPLAUDS SUPPORT FOR MUSLIM SOCCER PLAYER
Muslim girl wearing scarf ejected from tournament, other teams walk out in protest
(Ottawa, Canada – Feb 26, 2007) The Canadian Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-CAN) today applauded the “tremendous” support given to a Muslim soccer player who was ejected from a Quebec tournament because she was wearing a religiously-mandated headscarf, or “hijab.”
Five other teams from across Canada walked out the tournament Sunday after the Muslim player was thrown out because of a Quebec Soccer Association rule against the hijab. The association claims the ban is a safety issue.
SEE: Muslim Girl Ejected from Tournament for Wearing Hijab (CBC)
“The tremendous support shown for the Muslim player is an indication that common sense and respect for religious differences are more powerful than arbitrary rules,” said CAIR-CAN Executive Director Karl Nickner. He said any remote possibility of a safety issue could easily be handled through creative solutions such as Velcro fasteners on the player’s scarf.
Nickner noted that even male professional soccer players sometimes wear headgear such as sweat bands and bandanas without fear of injury. In fact, some players wear special protective devices on their heads to prevent injury from “headers.”
CAIR-CAN say they will work with the soccer association to resolve the issue in a way that satisfies both safety requirements and the need to accommodate the girl’s religious rights.
CONTACT: Sarah Elgazzar, CAIR-CAN Spokesperson at 514.776.6566, Sameer Zuberi, CAIR-CAN Communications Coordinator at 613.795.2012, or Karl Nickner, CAIR-CAN Executive Director at 613.254.9704 or 613.853.4111