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CAIR: Minnesota Muslim Teen Boxer to Attempt to Compete Wearing Hijab

CAIR MN logo(WASHINGTON, D.C., 12/3/15) – On Saturday, December 5, a representative of the Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MN) will accompany a teenage Muslim boxer when she attempts to compete in a Silver Gloves Boxing Tournament in Minneapolis, Minn., while wearing modest Islamic attire, including a head scarf, or hijab.

In September, CAIR welcomed a decision by USA Boxing to request a waiver to an international association’s policy preventing of 15-year-old Amaiya Zafar of Oakdale, Minn., from taking part in competition while wearing hijab. To date, neither CAIR nor the teen’s family have been informed of any action being taken on that request.

Video: CAIR-MN Helps Muslim Teen Boxer Seeking to Compete Wearing Hijab

Following an earlier request by CAIR, USA Boxing said it would request the waiver from the Switzerland-based International Boxing Association (AIBA) on behalf of Zafar.

WHAT: Muslim Teen Boxer to Attempt to Compete Wearing Hijab

WHEN: Saturday, December 5, 3 p.m.

WHERE: Uppercut Gym, 1324 Quincy St. NE, Minneapolis, MN 55413

CONTACT: CAIR-MN Executive Director Jaylani Hussein, 612-221-6009, 612-206-3360, jhussein@cair.com

“We hope Amaiya will be able to compete while maintaining her religious principles,†said CAIR-MN Executive Director Jaylani Hussein. “Boxing should catch up to other sports that have recently changed outdated policies to permit athletes to compete in religious attire.â€

If the teen is turned away, CAIR-MN will consult with its legal team to determine how to protect her constitutional rights.

Last year, CAIR applauded a decision by the Switzerland-based International Basketball Federation (FIBA) to drop its ban on Islamic headscarves, or hijabs, worn by athletes.

CAIR Applauds FIBA Decision to Drop Basketball Hijab Ban    

CAIR noted that FIFA’s International Football Association Board acknowledged the religious rights of soccer players by changing its rules to allow hijabs and Sikh turbans.

CAIR also helped a Muslim wrestler at the University at Buffalo in New York obtain a waiver from the NCAA to wear a beard he believes is required by his faith.

SEE: CAIR Helps NY Muslim Wrestler Obtain NCAA Waiver for Beard    

In 2011, CAIR welcomed a decision by the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) to modify its policy on competitor apparel to allow modest Islamic attire. The IWF policy change came following intervention by CAIR in the case of a Muslim weightlifter in Georgia who wished to compete while covering her hair, arms and legs.

Kulsoom Abdullah: Changing Policy      

CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

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CONTACT: CAIR-MN Executive Director Jaylani Hussein, 612-206-3360, jhussein@cair.com; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, ihooper@cair.com; CAIR Communications Coordinator Nabeelah Naeem, 202-341-4171, nnaeem@cair.com

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