Australian Soccer and the Hijab

I saw this article on the BBC website and figured this would make a good first posting. Now really what the hell was the referee thinking by stopping a women playing soccer because she was wearing a headscarf! Was the referee scared she might not see the ball! Thank goodness that her team mates and the team she was playing realised how ridiculous the referee was and supported the player. I’d love her to take the case to court and see how the referee tries to make an arguement that his/her actions were not discriminatory. I also have a problem with the use of “Islamic headscarf” because it implies that the headscarf is part of Islam. It implies that the headscarf is related to religion and it’s NOT! Either say “hijab” or say “headscarf worn by some women who happen to be Muslim.”

3 thoughts on “Australian Soccer and the Hijab

  1. I’m realizing, as I read your post, that I actually don’t know much about hijab.
    In some branches of Judaism, women cover their hair as a sign of modesty. (Different denominations interpret the custom in different ways — some wear net snoods, some wear scarves, others shave their heads after marriage and wear wigs.) The idea seems to be that women’s hair might be arousing to men, and therefore a married woman shouldn’t display her hair where a man who isn’t her husband might see it.
    That’s pretty foreign to me — I’ve never known anyone who followed the custom, because I come from a liberal branch of Judaism where women and men both cover our heads during prayer as a sign of respect for God, but we don’t cover our heads for tz’niut, modesty, otherwise.
    Anyway, I’m curious now about hijab. Is it written in the Qur’an somewhere, or is it custom? Where does it come from? (I’m embarrassed to admit that I haven’t actually read the Qur’an — I tried once and didn’t get far. I think I had a tough translation. I keep meaning to try again with a different edition… 🙂

  2. There are some great books that cover the issue of hijab, including whether the one verse that could potentially be interpreted to indicate the hijab actually does. Currently my two favorites are:
    Leila Ahmed, Women and Gender in Islam
    Amina Wadud, Qur’an and Women
    Also, Khaled Abou Fadl in his book Conference of the Books, has a great essay “Corrupting God’s Book” that talks about how the Saudis have released their interpretation of the Qur’an, but as the Qur’an, and how it absolutely corrupts the words in the Qur’an.
    As to reading the Qur’an, it’s something most Muslims haven’t done, although they would deny it. After 9/11 the Qur’an became one of the most purchased books , and people were surprised that it told them nothing. It is not the story of a people like Genesis, or guidelines like Numbers or Leviticus. While it does have some of those elements, it’s not a narrative, it pre-supposes a knowledge of the narratives of the Hebrew Bible and the Christian Bible as it places itself in the same tradition.
    Most of the debate about what the Qur’an “says” is really over what interpretation people know. The books mentioned above quote fairly lengthy passages of relevant verses to help put the verses in context, and work with various interpretations to understand the debates going on in the Muslim world.

  3. well i never got a spot in my schools soccer club but that was two years ago and the reason was beacuse of my headscarf i had no pins in it i tied it back and it didnt interfere with my play or anyone eles’s so everythings just screwed all i do is play at home still with my raceist african american neighbors screamin at me tellin me i cant play soccer in a FREE area beacuse im muslim.

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