Press Releases

CAIR-MN Rep to Attend First USA Boxing-Sanctioned Bout with Muslim Boxer Wearing Hijab

cair logos minnesota(WASHINGTON, D.C., 4/28/17) – On Saturday, April 29, a representative of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) will attend a bout featuring a teenage Muslim boxer in Minnesota who was previously barred from competition because she wears an Islamic head scarf, or hijab.

Amaiya Zafar, 16, from Oakdale, Minn., will be the first boxer allowed to fight in a USA Boxing-sanctioned event while wearing hijab. She will compete against a girl from Iowa in a Circle of Discipline at the Spring Fling Amateur Boxing match in the Richard R. Green Central Park School in Minneapolis, Minn.

WHAT: First USA Boxing-Sanctioned Bout with Muslim Boxer Wearing Hijab

WHEN/WHERE: Saturday, April 29, Richard Green Central Gym, 3416 4th Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55408, Bouts start at 4 p.m.

CONTACT: CAIR-MN Civil Rights Attorney Ellen Longfellow, 612-206-3360, elongfellow@cair.com

Many international athletic organizations have already modified their rules and policies to account for the various religious needs of participants. For example, over the past few years, the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) and the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) have all lifted their respective bans on religious headgear, including hijabs. 

CAIR is awaiting a decision by the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) to lift its ban on religious headgear that bars Muslim, Sikh and Jewish athletes from competing on a professional level.

In the past, CAIR helped a Muslim wrestler at the University at Buffalo in New York obtain a waiver from the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) to wear a beard he believes is required by his faith.

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.

The Washington-based Muslim civil rights group is asking Muslim community members to report any bias incidents to police and to CAIR’s Civil Rights Department at 202-742-6420 or by filing a report at: http://www.cair.com/civil-rights/report-an-incident/view/form.html

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.

La misión de CAIR es mejorar la comprensión del Islam, fomentar el diálogo, proteger las libertades civiles, capacitar a los musulmanes estadounidenses, y construir coaliciones que promuevan la justicia y la comprensión mutua.

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CONTACT: CAIR-MN Executive Director Jaylani Hussein, 612-406-0070, jhussein@cair.com; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, ihooper@cair.com

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