(Ottawa, Canada – November 18, 2007) The Canadian Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-CAN) today urged Judo Manitoba to not interpret the International Judo Federation (IJF) rules narrowly.
On November 17, Judo Manitoba president Dave Minuk barred 11-year-old Hajar Outbih from a judo match with her religiously-mandated head scarf, or hijab. Minuk claims IJF rules prohibited the hijab, however, the Federation’s rules, which are posted online, do not mention any prohibited forms of head dress.
In a statement released today, CAIR-CAN said:
“It seems that Judo Manitoba unilaterally decided that head scarves are not allowed in competition yesterday. With judo widely played throughout the Muslim world and the IJF entirely silent on head dress, this is certainly a surprising call.
“Dave Minuk’s decision effectively bars Muslim women from judo. For decades, women have fought hard for their rights and Minuk’s call is taking them away.
“If safety is made out to be the issue, this can easily be resolved by allowing players to use Velcro fastened sports head scarves which are readily available.”
The IJF’s constitution officially recognizes Arabic as an auxiliary language. IJF’s Congress meetings are simultaneously translated into four languages: English, French, Spanish and Arabic.
SEE: The Hijab Shop
CONTACT: Sameer Zuberi, CAIR-CAN Communications Coordinator at (613) 795-2012 or (613) 254-9704