The world of hijabs and soccer (or football, if you prefer) has been making the news a lot lately. As you might remember, FIFA recently banned the Iranian women’s team from playing, because of their headscarves. Jordan’s team has also recently been banned for the same reason. And in the Montreal area, 15-year-old Sarah Benkirane was recently prevented from refereeing soccer games while wearing hijab.
Muslimah Media Watch is joining up with a new campaign called Right 2 Wear, in support of the rights of women to play sports, regardless of their clothing. I worked with Farrah Khan and Zahra Agjee of AQSAzine and Digital Storytelling Facilitator Hisayo Horie to create the Right 2 Wear video at the Allied Media conference.
We are encouraging you and your communities to do three things:
1. Write to FIFA to express your support for the rights of Iran’s and Jordan’s female soccer teams, and challenging the patronizing and Islamophobic assumptions behind the ban.
2. Check out our Tumblr page at right2wear.tumblr.com, and send us your own stories, pictures and videos about the sports that you play, or other links related to this issue. You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
3. Most importantly: Organize a soccer match in your community! Think of it as a big soccer flash mob. Invite other women and girls to get off the sidelines and show that we got game. Allies are welcomed to lead cheers and chants, and support us in red carding FIFA’s anti-hijab ruling. Send the information and pictures to us, so we can keep track of what you’ve all been up to. And stay tuned for information on upcoming actions in Toronto and Montreal!
No one should be kept from the right to play sports!