The Shit Keeps Coming: Quebec Soccer Ref in Hijab Thrown Off Pitch

22 Jun

(Photo courtesy of CTV Winnipeg)

Today so many things are turning my stomach. Watishista! Maddy sent this one in and it’s just so, so frustrating. Read on…

Quebec soccer ref in hijab thrown off pitch

‘I don’t think it’s very fair,’ says 15-year-old
CBC News
Posted: Jun 21, 2011 2:37 PM ET
Last Updated: Jun 22, 2011 9:05 AM ET

Quebec Soccer Federation’s statement on hijabs (in French)

Soccer referee Sarah Benkirane has been told she can no longer work for Quebec’s Lac St. Louis Regional Soccer Association because she wears a hijab.

The 15-year-old has been refereeing games on Montreal’s West Island and Vaudreuil, which is located just off the island, for the past two years but was informed by association officials that she had been cut as a referee because of rules prohibiting religious garments on the pitch.

“I always felt like I was equal growing up in Canada, so I don’t understand why they’re going to take this right away from me,” said Benkirane, who has worn a hijab since she was 12.

The teen said a complaint was made to the association, which led to the loss of her summer job.

The Lac St. Louis Regional Soccer Association told CBC it follows the rules laid out by the Quebec Soccer Federation and referred all questions to that group.

In a statement released Monday, the Quebec Soccer Federation said it upholds Rule 4 set out by FIFA, the international soccer governing body, which prohibits religious statements in team uniforms.

“The situation is clear,” the statement reads. “Wearing a hijab is not allowed on Quebec’s soccer fields just as necklaces, earrings, rings are prohibited, and we will follow the rule until FIFA says otherwise.”

But Benkirane said the reasons given to her by her soccer association are not acceptable.

“Rules are rules and we have to follow them, but as society changes we have to adapt these rules,” she said.

In February 2007, five teams from across Canada walked out of a soccer tournament in Laval, Que., because a Muslim girl was ejected for wearing a hijab. FIFA upheld its rule banning the hijab the following week.

The province’s soccer federation said Tuesday that Canada’s parallel organization also follows the FIFA rule prohibiting the hijab, and to change the rules, Benkirane would have to address the world soccer association.

Earlier this month, FIFA upheld a decision to prevent Iran’s women’s team from playing a 2012 Olympic qualifier game wearing head scarves.

Again with this shit? Seriously?!  A hijab is not the same as “necklaces, earrings and rings” for fuck’s sake. And she’s been refereeing for 2 years already. Now they just decided to follow the rules?  I just feel angry and powerless right now, so I can’t even imagine what the young Muslim women who read this blog (of which there are many) are feeling.  I do appreciate the 5 teams who had the courage of their convictions and walked off in support of the other young woman. I’d like to see more of that. People need to fight back and stick up for what’s right.  Here’s a more in depth article.

3 Responses to “The Shit Keeps Coming: Quebec Soccer Ref in Hijab Thrown Off Pitch”

  1. Maisoun June 22, 2011 at 11:32 pm #

    All of this bullshit is just fucking unbelievable. The Roberto Carlos post, the Nigerian Women’s NT post, & this, its all so sickening. Its unfair that we live in a world where such hate exists. Its unfair that people still have to deal with racism, have to deal with homophobia, have to deal with islamophobia, have to deal with genderism, have to deal with stereotypes & any other kind of hate! The Roberto Carlos vid actually had LIKES on youtube! An assistant for Nigeria’s soccer federation said players from the Women’s NT were removed “not because they were not good players, but because they were lesbians.” !!! This young girl is forced out of a job & discriminated against because of her religion. Lets just keep everyone in the closet FIFA, you can be gay or muslim just dont let it show! All of this frustrates & angers me to no end. I wish, wish, WISH people would wake the fuck up & change.

  2. maddy June 23, 2011 at 5:03 am #

    in my opinion, mankind is in a state of developmental regression.

    FIFA has decided to ban something they don’t even understand. “Rule 4 set out by FIFA, the international soccer governing body, which prohibits religious statements in team uniforms.” the hijaab is not a ‘religious statement’! the hijab to a woman who wears it is the same as a shirt or skirt. the main purpose of it is to cover a part of her body she does not want exposed.

    “Wearing a hijab is not allowed on Quebec’s soccer fields just as necklaces, earrings, rings are prohibited, and we will follow the rule until FIFA says otherwise.”

    please tell me FIFA did not just compared a garment worn for the sake of modesty to jewellery!

    “Rules are rules and we have to follow them, but as society changes we have to adapt these rules,” she said.

    she’s 15 and she speaks with more sense and eloquence than all the rich cronies in FIFA put together.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Great News! Hijab Ban Reversed « Of Headbands and Heartbreak… - March 5, 2012

    […] our hearts here at HB & HB, as many of our watishistas are hijabis. We’ve talked about it before and expressed our dismay at this discriminatory policy. So I was delighted to read this morning […]

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