Muslim highschool athlete disqualified from volleyball recreation for sporting hijab
A Nashville faculty is looking for a rule change after a volleyball participant was disqualified from a recreation for sporting a hijab.
On Sept. 15, freshman Najah Aqeel of Valor Collegiate Academy was warming up for the match when her coach mentioned a referee refused to let her play due to her head scarf.
The referee cited a rule requiring Aqeel to obtain authorization from the Tennessee Secondary College Athletic Affiliation (TSSAA) to put on her hijab in video games. The rule had not been enforced in earlier matches, and Aqeel opted to take a seat out.
“I used to be offended, unhappy and likewise shocked simply because I had by no means heard of the rule earlier than that,” Aqeel told CNN. “The rule has no enterprise being within the casebook. It singles out hijabis. I do not see why I would like approval to put on my hijab when it is part of my faith.”
The college despatched an e mail to the TSSAA searching for authorization for its Muslim athletes to put on a hijab in video games, and TSSAA assistant director Matthew Gillespie told The Tennessean that the request was accepted instantly.
Valor additionally petitioned the Nationwide Federation of State Excessive College Associations (NFSH) to permit athletes to put on head coverings for non secular causes.
Karissa Niehoff, NFSH’s govt director, advised CNN that states “could make exceptions” for uniform guidelines, and the group is planning so as to add new language to its casebook on non secular headwear. The NFSH establishes guidelines for many highschool sports activities.
“We’re heartbroken and deeply sorry that the younger girl was disqualified from the match for sporting the hijab,” Niehoff mentioned. “Extra frequent sense ought to have been demonstrated by the adults. The proper strategy the referee ought to have taken is to have allowed the younger girl to play and level out after the sport that subsequent time she must submit a letter.”
The American Muslim Advisory Council started a Change.org petition demanding the TSSAA change the rule. By Monday night, the petition had over 2,200 signatures out of its aim of two,500.
“Muslim women, who need to observe their constitutionally protected proper, mustn’t have an additional barrier to completely take part in sports activities in Tennessee,” the petition mentioned. “This rule was used to humiliate a 14-year-old pupil in entrance of her friends. Non secular boundaries to taking part in sports activities mustn’t exist this present day. This rule is akin to telling Muslim women that they want permission to be a Muslim.”