Headscarf Forces Md. Girl Basketball Player To Miss 1st Half

HAGERSTOWN, Md. (WJZ) — A 12-year-old Muslim girl was forced to sit on the bench during her basketball game, all because of the religious headscarf she wears.

Kelly McPherson spoke with the young girl Wednesday evening.

Maheem Haq, 12, is back on the court—with her headscarf.  A few days ago, a ref made her sit out of the first half of a game because she wouldn’t take off the religious wrap.

“I was upset a little bit ’cause I really wanted to play and I enjoy playing basketball,” Haq said.

“We were very upset when we heard about it because she has been able to play the entire time and there’s never been a problem,” said Connie Cline, a teammate’s mother.

“The referee was within his rights.  He was right to do what he did,” said Daphnie Campbell, Mid-Maryland Girls’ Basketball.

The scarf is a Muslim custom for women, but the league coordinator says there was no request on file allowing Haq to wear the scarf, which is considered a safety hazard.

“I will accept full responsibility for it.  Being new, no, I didn’t know anything about it.  I didn’t know I had to ask for permission, I didn’t know a letter had to be on file.  I didn’t know anything of that,” Campbell said.

The team offered to forfeit the game.  The Haq family said no.

“To inspire other kids as well that you can maintain your religious belief and strike a balance between your active life and still maintain your religious beliefs,” said her father, Mohammad Haq.

“I do feel that some people were offended or emotions were hurt, and that’s not what we’re here for.  We’re here to learn sports and maybe some life skills along the way,” said Coach Mark Hershner.

“I feel really happy,” Maheem Haq said.  “I feel great.”

The basketball league is now specifying in its bylaws that any exception to the uniform rules needs to be put in writing by the child’s parent.  The Haqs are just happy that everything has worked out.

The referee was following the rules for high school games and will not be reprimanded.

  • harley121

    Whats next???? Coach; I wanna play in a boys jock strap, sports bra, clown make-up w/ floppy shoes, a rosary and a hijab! You changed the rules for the muslim!!!! Why not me??? Well,,,,,,,,,
    This is the type of thing that creaps up when you start bending / changing the rules (well established rules) for anything. Its BS,, WRONG no matter how much of a PC spin or liberal spin that you put on it!!

    • tylerjake

      EXACTLY! Amen!

      • Trevor

        the one I posted above this was for tylerjakes not freedom sorry freedom

    • Heartwings

      >>Whats next???? Coach; I wanna play in a boys jock strap, sports bra, clown make-up w/ floppy shoes, a rosary and a hijab! <<

      That's what the NBA is for! LOL

      I can see how certain jewelry could potentially injure the wearer or another, but would the person who mentioned choking on a medic alert bracelet please explain that? I wear one and I can't quite figure how to choke on it. I would think medic alert bracelets are similar to a knee or wrist brace or other medical device worn per a doctor's order and should be allowed.

      If you look at the girl in question and #14 beside her, doesn't the girl on the right's hair look just like the head scarf? I just don't see the point since male and female athletes are allowed to wear "dreadlocks" and similar excessive hairstyles that feature added fake hair and they are not a safety hazard but the scarf is? I don't really care one way or the other if someone wants to wear a hat or scarf per their religious traditions while they play sports. If the scarf or whatever in question keeps falling off and, in the opinion of the game officials, poses a safety hazard, then that can be dealt with. It's kids sports, keep them safe and let them play and have fun!

      If the child in question wore a wig as a head covering because her hair had fallen out from chemotherapy, would you tell her she couldn't play too?

      • LOLA

        Your exactly right!

      • CD

        If thay can not play buy rules we grew up with, then send them back where they come from. That is the problem today nobody takes the great US seriousanymore. love it or leave it, i don’t care where you come from.

      • just sayin'

        I can see the safety issue here. The head scarf could be drug around the girl’s neck during a play. At the right angle, it could possibly cause serious injury. In the softball league my daughter plays for, all jewelry must be removed before a game. Same issue of safety.

    • robert davidson

      In Srinagar, India in 2001 an “acid attack on four young Muslim women … by an unknown militant outfit [was followed by] swift compliance by women of all ages on the issue of wearing the chadar (head-dress) in public

      In Basra, Iraq, “more than 100 women who didn’t adhere to strict Islamic dress code” were killed between the summer of 2007 and spring of 2008 by Islamist militias (primarily the Mahdi Army) who controlled the police there, according to the CBS news program 60 Minutes
      Wake up people,do we actually chose to allow people who fear and/or support this kind of backlash on their own people dictate to us how we run our own sports in these United States of America because of their religious beliefs?Most sports have uniforms and team colors,she disrespects her teammates by not following the rules of the game.Wake the F#$@ up people and stop this nonsense now.

      • bob

        Your right on target, haha, for real tho.

    • Someone

      are you serious? apparently you don’t understand what this “headscarf” or hijab stands for. why don’t you read from a good website about it, or ask someone before you go and call it something bad? being ignorant isn’t something good, and I’m not trying to be rude, I’m trying to help you be a better person.

    • Ashley


    • Kristen

      Harely121 is a bigot.

    • shawn

      I believe in satanism and part of my relegion requires me to wear sharp horns on my head. I was appauled when i was little and wasn’t allowed to participate in sports. I believe people should of let me. There’s no way when lil timmy gets old enough to play sports i’m gonna let anybody tell me he’s not allowed

    • sgt88

      I’m still waiting to hear what is the safety issue? early womens basketball-1920’s the women had to be fully covered and they wore head scarfs. the only thing showing were hands.This is nothing new why is it a problem now?

    • Marie

      Personally, I did NOT see how a hijab poses a safety hazard whatsoever.
      Besides that, they WERE NOT changing the rules for her.
      Since it has been states that they need a letter (THAT is BS.) to wear the headscarf, I assume that action will be taken so that a letter is made, and this way, she will be able to wear her scarf and she will be able to play the sport, WITH It on.
      I find your comment to be ignorant and offensive.

    • freedom

      if you need an accomadation then you should ask..how is it wrong to allow a child to play a sport but she needs an accomodation..get real..

      • tylerjake

        What’s with everyone needing an accommodation for EVERYTHING now?! Harley 121 is exactly right! Oh and by the way, learn how to spell before you post “freedom!”

      • HowlinWolf

        What’s next — Burkas?

      • Trevor

        Freedom you must be slow or must be non athletic cause you surely don’t know what your debating cause it’s wrong it her belief this is a free religion country that mean in case you don’t get it you can practice your relgion as long you don’t force it on no one or discourage anyone from their beliefs and using a remote is not being athletic !!!!

      • goheat03

        I for one am glad to see this Muslim family encouraging their young daughter to assimilate and participate in sports like other American girls in our society. We should be encouraging them, not banning them or putting obstacles in their way. And for those who say this is a safety risk–puhlease…use a little common sense. How is a piece of soft cloth worn over her hair a “safety risk”???

    • GoodOleDays

      Some scenarios up next….

      “Hey…What’s wrong with you? YEAH he’s in a wheelchair, so What? What do you mean he can’t play in the game? He’s a Kid isn’t he.”

      WHO CARES. They all get their meaningless junk trophies at the end of the year don’t they…Everyone is special..therefore no one is special. Welcome to the new USA.

    • jessie

      We don’t ask Jewish Boys to take off their Yamakah or Mormons to not wear their special underwear. It seems like a reasonable request and frankly with so few Arab girls actually trying to assimilate we should be happy.

      • Marie

        What do you mean ‘so few arab girls are trying to assimilate’?
        I really don’t like the term assimilation.
        It makes me think of the borg.
        This is America:
        Besides that, I don’t think this is a matter of ‘few arab girls try to assimilate’ is the fact that this is a minority, and since the amount of girls in general do not try to play sports,
        Like this:
        There are few girls that play sports.
        There are, due to racism and hatred of said minority, few muslims in the country, by extension few muslim girls, the chances of these girls being interested in sports is exactly the same, but because there are less, there are less interested in sports.

        And anyway, like I said,
        My last name is a LIE.
        A LIE designed to assimilate better,
        A LIE because people don’t like foreigners, different ideas, or anything like that.
        I hate when people have to give up bits of themselves JUST to be accepted in society.
        Acculturation is better.
        WAY better.

    • apnea

      Yes, all opinions AGAINST actions as these that the muslim community is trying to enforce in western society, are right. It has NOTHING to do with islamic fear, it has NOTHING to do with being prejudiced, it has NOTHING to do with hatred against any community or minority group. It has to do with what we in the west call RESPECT FOR RULES AND ORDER! There are very many islamic announcements world-wide of how the muslims will slowly try to infiltrate the western community not so to escape from the Qu’ran nations but to spread the word of their one and only true God Allah and slowly and subtly enforce islamic beliefs on all nations within the next generations, so that one day more and more will believe in Muhamed only. It all starts initially with the muslims calling for what they do not accept: RESPECT. They demand respect for their ways of life and actions without regarding your opinion, without caring about your rules. So that means that NO ONE CARES IF BASKETBALL IS PLAYED THE WAY THE WESTERNERS WANT IT-THEY MUST RESPECT US AND CHANGE IT BECAUSE WE,THE MUSLIMS ARE HERE! But we as muslims have NO obligation to respect the WESTERNERS’ rules, so we want to dress up the WE want to and NOT the way you want us to play! The sad part, my friends is not that she was allowed to play basketball dressed inappropriately, but that the islamic ruling on the west is winning points and gaining terrain right under our noses. In arabic countries where female athletics are played in trousers with head scarfs and not only,try putting on a skirt and sleeveless uniform on an american female player and deciding that here in arabic countries we will ignore your official game rules and will enforce upon you arabs to change your rules so that we can wear skirts, sleeveless uniforms, etc.! Can you even imagine the consequences? THE MUSLIMS MUST UNDERSTAND THAT THEY DON’T HAVE RIGHTS ALONE, BUT RESPONSIBILITIES ALSO! Thank you

  • jmartin

    The rule in these leagues (I’ve played in many) is no extra can be worn outside the uniform and undergarment. No rings, no hats, no bracelets, no earrings, no necklaces, NO EXCEPTIONS- PERIOD. Leave your religion home where it belongs. These muslim parents can’t possibly assume liability from injuries, because they don’t know the extent of the injuries ahead of time. Shame on the league for cowering down to the religious nut jobs.

    • Summer22

      SHUT UR TRAP.!
      how would u like it if u went to a Arabic country and u were not allowed to play because u wore to little on the court.!OK
      its America and its a country of freedom & religion.! and sooo wat ur talkin about is dumb so shut it thnx.!:)

      • UGH..


      • Diane King

        OK — educated answers only. It’s “moot” not “mute”.

    • freedom

      what makes you think religion belongs home? Islam is a way of live being muslim is a 24hr 7day a week thing..thats the difference between Islam and any other religion..We are muslim at all times and it should not affect a little girl from playing a sport..a head scarf is more secure than running down court with a head full of hair flying all over the place.

      • Isis

        As a matter of fact anyone who’s true to their faith is of their faith 24/7. How arrogant of you to believe otherwise. Islam is not the only demanding religion/ belief system. My dear friend of 20 years STRICTLY follows the Bushido code even unto always having his Daisho with him unless it wasn’t possible then he would carry his wakizashi and if he couldn’t go somewhere with that then apparently he had no need to be there and would abstain. Please keep your self-centered opinions to yourself. If someone HAS to have something for their faith and what they want to participate in forbids it then they need to decide which is more important. It’s a personal choice and always will be.

      • freedom

        seems to me that all you people fail to remember that the U.S. of A is a country that allows FREEDOM of RELIGION and people have the right to be who they want to be when they want to be. Read your history and figure out that most people migrated to the US just for that. The U.S. of A is not a Christian country it is a Secular one. which is exactly why theres no mix of church and state!!

      • Amanda Lauren Mangum

        and this is AMERICA….aceppt our ways of life…accept out sports and the way they’re played.

      • RB

        please-let’s all abide by the time honored rules and not change things for just a few.

      • Isis

        Freedom’s comment wasn’t about being restricted from play due to religion, it was about said religion having a requirement that requires a waiver. I’m all for people of any faith being allowed to participate in sports however if their faith and the sport, or any other activity for that matter, have contradictory requirements then it’s up to the individual to decide what to do. And just in case there are any questions, YES, I believe individuals must supplant their own desires for the greater good. That said, if 51% of my community said that I HAD to paint my house purple then I’d have to decide if I could accept that and if not then I’d move. Just my $0.02.

      • Amy

        I agree with freedom, if anyone wants to play sports they can, regardless of religion.

      • Jaybo1

        Because if it had been a Christian wearing a Jesus shirt , he or she wold have been thrown out of the game. The government gives muslims special privilages…PERIOD !

      • GetItRight

        Religion is a personal believe. Your faith is yours, not others. I cannot say you keep it at home, but not to run around on the street and carrying a sign saying I am “my RELIGION.” All I can say is personal faith should not change other people’s rule, culture, or life style. Except the politicans that are giving up most of the Christian Country.

      • GetItRight

        Freedom, you are wrong. US of A is a Christian Country. From Day ONE! If you taking the religion out of the house, people can wage war in the name of GOD!

      • Kerrie

        @ freedom – you are so arrogant to think that islam is the only religion that is a “24/7” thing.

        i am catholic and I have a wooden cross I never take off… when I play soccer, I tuck it under my shirt so it doesn’t hit me or another player, but if it ever did accidentally slip out and harm me or someone else, I would not hesitate to take it off, because I know that removing it does not change my level of devotion to God.

        Also, your argument about our nation being secular is crucial… meaning that a secular activity such as basketball should not have to change rules to cater to religion. It’s unfair to tell a girl she can’t play basketball because of her religion, but it’s totally fair game to tell a girl she can’t play in the game because a religious object violates the dress code of the game.

      • Trish

        I am with freedom. Why shouldn’t she be allowed to play because of her religious belief. So in essence those who criticize are also saying the Jewish aren’t allowed to wear the head coverings such as wigs or their Yarmulkes, Mormons aren’t allowed to wear their religious undergarments, etc…But I have seen many wear their Christian necklaces such as the cross. Wearing a cross necklace with a sport uniform isn’t an exception? And I am christian before evryone starts saying otherwise.

      • Christian

        @freedom I will assume you are not aware of the facts, therefore I will not be offended by your comment. Christianity is a 24 hour 7 day a week way of life. I do not decide to be a follower of Christ only during church or prayer. When I play sports, I pray for Jesus to protect us all from injury, and I play in a spirit of Christianity. I include Him in all aspects of my life. That said, your example of why Islam is different is incorrect. Also, if a female’s hair is too long, it would be worn up or in a ponytail, not “flying all over the place”

    • Trevor

      a scaf and their crying some people need to grow up and be mindful that she is muslim and that her beliefs and no one should oppose that and make her do some that violate that and if anyone don’t like it oh well

      • Jaybo1

        Then WHY , Trevor , are Christians FORBIDDEN from practicing OUR beliefs…..the muslims can pray in school , but Christians CAN’T….does THAT sound like FREEDOM TO RELIGION TO YOU???? HMMMMM???????

      • Diane King

        Good grief Trevor, why even bother commenting when your command of the English language and writing are so poor that your comments are unreadable.

  • Atim Ant

    Muslim headscarves limit line of sight of the player… She could run right into someone if she doesn’t move her head at all times.

    • OhBoyNotAgain

      Stop It. Can’t you see there is no room for logical discussions on this board?

      Next we’ll have a Muslim High School Wrestler who wants to leave his Hijab on….

      “OOPS you ripped my Hijab Off!” … Ref: “PENALTY- THE OTHER PLAYER FORFEITS”

      Yeah..you just wait and see…that’s next week!!!

      • Faren

        But Muslim men don’t wear Hijabs :P Just saying

  • Breeze R

    The scarf could fly into someones face while running or shooting.
    Most stupid thing I ever heard…..

    • AnotherAmerican

      what… stupid? do you even know why they wear it? and it’s not even that matter- its the fact that Americans always claim, oh yeah, we are soo cool cause we have freedom of this and freedom of that, but sometimes, you don’t really know if we really are granted those freedoms that everyone should have. even muslims. Islam isn’t as the media always puts it to be, and you should really have thought twice about what you said.. not only BREEZE R, but others as well

    • freedom

      no your comment is..head coverings a secure and will not “fly” off..wow!!

      • SJCJOPPA

        @ Freedom, have you ever played a sport? Shoes are secure and players have lost them in play. If she is requred to keep her head covered, than a new design better suited for sports will be necessary, period. Jmartin is right, “no extras”

      • shawn

        I believe in satanism and part of my relegion requires me to wear sharp horns on my head. I was appauled when i was little and wasn’t allowed to participate in sports. I believe people should of let me. There’s no way when lil timmy gets old enough to play sports i’m gonna let anybody tell me he’s not allowed

  • freedom

    are you people serious..a headscarf does not hinder sight and it won’t cause any injury..this is a poor attempt at discrimination..thats the difference between christianity and Islam. A muslim is always a muslim we can’t leave our way of life home. Wow!!

    • Scarlette

      You are acting very ignorant. A headscarf on the court is deadly. Much like putting a bit of ice on the court before the game. Rules are fules. Obey the fules or do not play. If they want to live in America, then acclimate and be American and follows the rules of the team and the game.

      • UGH..

        seriously, seriously, deadly…a bit extreme Scarlette..noone has ever been wounded let alone killed by a headscarf…wow..what an idiot..

    • RB

      Then stay at home with your beliefs

    • Jaybo1

      ” A muslim is always a muslim ? ” Does that mean that YOU are going to BLOW YOURSELF UP ????????

    • proudparent&officer

      freedom I back you 100% These idiots talking about not changing the rules for anyone and “this is America accept our ways” obviously didnt pay attention in history class! Not conforming to one way of life and fighting for freedom is what America was founded on and why people leave there homes to come and find their American dreams! If we never changed the rules for anyone, we would all have british accents, we would all be bible reading christians, no one would have free speech and there would be no handicapped parking. Get over yourselves and open up your minds, they’re just kids!

      • Cha

        Very well said.

  • loser

    Did these people call the press? They must have for this to make news..question is WHY?……… Because they love to cause trouble, they know that when it comes to their religion common sense leaves the head of every decision making American and that’s when they really start laughing at us. They need to do a better job at integrating into our culture, not the other way round.

    • Welcome to Reality

      BINGO. Does she Swim? Don’t tell me she doesn’t take it off when she swims. JOKE.

      • Aria

        It’s called a swimming cap, Welcome To Reality. DUH!

  • Mike B

    A head scarf that falls on the court is like ice when stepped on. Someone could get seriously hurt. Dress codes are fundamental to any sport for the safety of all players. She needs to grow up and get over it. Life has rules that need to be followed by everyone. I could care less if she’s muslim. That’s no excuse for disobeying the rules or the referee.

    • RB

      What about playing in a Mosque? Then all could dress the same.

    • mary

      @Mike B how the heck is wearing a headscarf like putting ice on the filed?! that is probably the funniest thing i’ve heard all week. how is the hijab dangerous? shes not making people trip over!!

      • Safety Rules

        The reason for the caution, according to the Campbell, was she was concerned the scarf could slip off and trip someone, or even strangle or choke Maheem. But it’s not meant to deter her from playing basketball. It’s just, Campbell said, a case of taking proper legal and safety precautions.

        “It’s a case of following the rules,” Cambell said.

        excerpted from NY Daily News Article

  • Melissa Reese

    I think with a little pre-planning a headscarf that accommodates the game can be found. The parents should discuss this with officials so that she can show up with the proper equipment just as any other athlete would be required to. Her coach, if anyone, should have been familiar with the rules & advised her before she was put in this position. Come on man!

    • Bethany White Dinger

      Melissa, this is an excellent point. The fault in this situatuion lies ENTIRELY with the coaching staff. THEY knew she wore the scarf and they should have placed the call BEFORE the game. THEY needed to let the official organization they had a unique situation and discussed AHEAD of time, what concernds the oficcials would or would not have.
      THis young lady should NEVER have been faced with this situation. The coached dropped the ball.

      • SJCJoppa

        Or, maybe the Coach did tell the parents it may be a problem and the parents pushed anyway. Anyone that does volunteer work with kids knows how non-volunteer parents can be.

    • Jane Sellman

      A very reasoned and intelligent comment. Thanks. Melissa.

  • Lee Krempel

    Some sweet bigots in this comments thread. Nice…

    • tylerjake

      Hey Lee, you ever looked at Sharia Law? Know what you’re talking about before you comment about being a “bigot!”

      • Tim W

        So let’s see Tyler because Sharia law is bad I can be as bad as them too. Great reasoning. Christians like yourself or just as bad. No wonder we are in the mess we are. One religion saying my god is better than your god. Frankly religious people like you scare me.

    • fedup

      I agree whole-heartedly! If this were a story about a Jewish boy not wanting to take off his yamaka there wouldnt be any hateful or innappropriate, in my opinion, comments on here because Jewish means he could have been born here!…Bigots!

  • cire

    “what makes you think religion belongs home? Islam is a way of live being muslim is a 24hr 7day a week thing..thats the difference between Islam and any other religion..We are muslim at all times”

    I have nothing against someone living his/her religion 24/7, just don’t ask me to change my way of life to accommodate your intolerance.

    • scarlett

      But you are asking to have it both ways. If you want to live in this country, then acclimate yourself. Otherwise, go back where you came from.

      • Tim W

        Wow another great Christian who obviously doesn’t know a lick about our country and our Constitution. Imagine that.

      • mary

        @scarlett this IS their country…just becuase their muslim, that doesn’t mean their foreign. islam is a religion not a country. i have a friend that is american and muslim, her granparents converted to islam. and she is 100% american with blonde hair and blue eyes. so what would her country be?

      • teacher/coach

        cire, intolerance should never be accomodated!
        scarelett, take a history class and learn what America was founded on before you start telling people to “acclimate” themselves if they want to live in this country! Freedom is something you take for granted and think only belongs to you if you were born here but guess what, you’re wrong.

  • David

    The referee’s concern was legitimate, and I can understand why it took so long to resolve the issue. S/he did not have the authority to make an exception on the fly, and the coach is to blame for not foreseeing this as a problem and getting resolution beforehand. Of course, the child and her family bear no blame in this and their customs regarding modesty are less extreme than what many other cultures, including Western and Jewish ones, demand of adherents (see the tichel or the Jewish concept of tzniut). For some, women even wearing shorts in public is frowned upon.

    However, accommodation in this religious matter can be made without compromising the integrity or safety of the sport. The scarf, once you consider it as necessary, can be made minmally dangerous, and perhaps the family can strategically employ velcro to reduce fly-away risks. It’s not much different from switching from actual pigs bladders for footballs to vulcanized rubber, which I’m sure our Jewish football players appreciate.

    We should look for ways to include more people, not rigidly cling to reasons to keep people (players or families) from participating.

  • Lee Krempel

    You said it David. Here. I’ll settle the whole thing. Ready?

    The ref was acting for the safety of the girl. The parents and everyone should recognize this. There’t that. Now, a reasonable exception can be made which allows the girl to play while keeping her tradition, but also puts the responsibility on the parents, etc… There. We’ve arrived at mutual respect and understanding. Done and done.

    It’s easy when you try!

  • jmartin

    Why is it that muslims living in the United States do not want to abide by the laws and/or rules of this country? The rule is in place to NOT discriminate. What if an Amish boy playing in a boys league insisted on wearing one them big black hats that some of them wear? If you consider her situation, then you have to take everyone’s request seriously, also. This is not viable, people.

    • Tim W

      Obviously you don’t understand how our Constitution and laws work. We allow for reasonable accomidations of religions in this country. In this case this was reasonable. Again one group of people hating on another group because of their religion. Am I surprised? No typical of most religions.

      • Theresa

        And resonable accomodations were made and she was able to play in the second half. The ref and parents came to an agreement.based on safety reasons. I don’t see the problem.

      • wakeup

        Tim…and I’m sure the scarf has absolutely no restrictions on peripheral vision? Is she going to want to wear it when she drives? I guess when she side-swipes your car off the roadway, you probably won’t be concerned about the “Safety” reasons either?

  • Diane King

    Why should there be a special exception for the head scarf? It’s a basketball game, not a religious ceremony. The scarf is not part of the basketball uniform. The rules are in place for a reason and they apply to everyone, without bias. It’s a mistake to start making special exceptions for one group as it just creates animosity.

    • UGH..


  • Lee Krempel

    i love americans

    • tylerjake

      Hey Lee, LOVE IT OR LEAVE IT!

  • Pay to Play

    My daughter suffers from a severe allergy and wears a Medic Alert bracelet. These bracelets are designed so that they are not easy to remove; yet she is forced to remove the bracelet prior to playing any sport. No concessions are ever made for her and this is a true medical condition. I am not happy about the rule, but we abide by it. If you want to play; you follow the rules – period.

  • Diane King

    No Lee Krempel, it’s not so easy. What’s easy is to say that the parents will accept responsibility for any injuries, but what if the injury is inflicted on another child? What if it were your child? Are they going to be responsible for that? Would it even matter? The rules are made without bias to anyone, and changing the rules for one specific group introduces bias. I think that’s asking for problems.

  • Rabee Haq

    Lets get a few things straight:
    1 this is my sister you’re talking about
    2 my parents did not force the issue. we remained anonymous as long as possible because we didnt want this kind of bigotry aimed at us
    3 this was unexpected by everyone
    4 noone is to blame. the coach did his job, the ref did his job, my sister did her job as a muslim.
    5 they are changing their rules so this doesnt happen again.
    6 the scarf is secured by a wrap and by pins
    7 neither the rules nor the referee were disobeyed. the league coordinator called and gave special permission for her to play
    8 i played soccer for my high school, i ran track in high school, i play sports as a muslim. the headscarf wont hurt anyone
    9 no animosity was created by anyone, save for the bigots online
    10 this IS america. accept the fact that we are as a nation the most accepting of all religions and cultures. its what makes this country so beautiful and unlike any other
    11 in the word “Muslim-American,” the latter should be what is important to you

    Please keep an open mind and be willing to broaden your horizons

    • freedom

      very well said. its very sad that many Americans don’t know this countries history. if so then they would understand that the US is a secular nation and not a Christian Country..

      • Jaybo1

        freedom , you sound like that idiot Obama ! What do you mean America is NOT a Christian country ?! We were FOUNDED on Judeo-Christian principles , NOT ANY other religion ! How DARE you say we’re not a Christian nation ! It’s morons like you that are pushing God out of America and you should go and live in a sharia law country for a while and you would change you attitude ! AMERICA WAS FOUNDED ON BELIEF IN ALMIGHTY GOD AND HIS SON , JESUS CHRIST , PERIOD !

      • GetItRight

        Freedom, you are wrong. US of A is a Christian Country. From Day ONE! If you taking the religion out of the house, people can wage war in the name of GOD!

        Religion is a personal believe. Your faith is yours, not others. I cannot say you keep it at home, but not to run around on the street and carrying a sign saying I am “my RELIGION.” All I can say is personal faith should not change other people’s rule, culture, or life style.

      • freedom

        jaybo and getitright apparently you don’t read..go look up the history of the united states and why people immigrated here..it was to get away from the strict puritan laws..this country was founded with an understanding of people being able to practice their religion as they wanted..it was christianity at that time but it wasn’t wriiten “freedom of christian religion” the constitution says “freedom of religion”

      • Christian

        @Freedom once again, I refuse to be offended. Please read history. This nation was founded on the tenets of Christianity. Sadly, the world is becoming more secular…but this is not a secular country any more than Afghanistan is a secular country. The tide flows both ways my friend.

    • Scarlett

      You live in this country. Its hogwash. If she wants to play, wear the uniform and be a part of the team. Stop the BS. The scarf issue has no place on the field. Matter of fact not in this country. If you want to live here, then be an American and all that entails.

      • UGH..


      • Diane King

        I do agree with you UGH that Scarlett’s comments are out of line with regard to different cultures living in this country. Everyone should surely have the right to express their religous beliefs freely. HOWEVER, if your beliefs are so strict that you cannot abide by the rules that are part of being on the team, well then I think you have a choice to make. This whole issue is so unfair to the other girls. What a distraction from the fun of the game!

    • sowkr

      Thank you for your input, Rabee; these comments are nonsense. A mistake/misunderstanding happened, and now it’s being fixed.

    • Diane King

      Rabee – you don’t think a sense of unfairness (and thereby animosity) is created when the girl who needs to wear a medic bracelet, for example, cannot do so but the muslim girl gets to wear her headscarf? Of course it does! And your comment that in “Muslim-American” the latter should be what’s important is correct. However, that’s not what I see demonstrated by the refusal to wear the proper uniform by insisting on wearing this headscarf.

      • HP

        Wearing a medical bracelet is something hard and sharp if it breaks and if God forbid she falls and breaks her arm or wrist its now something that cuts off circulation and needs to be cut off immediately before causing more harm. As an Athletic Trainer for several county high schools I see no reason to do that to your child and put more pressure on any medical response if they do not have the proper equipment to cut off the bracelet.

    • StopLying

      You and your whole Family are political activists. You get no sympathy here. You show me a picture of one muslim, jewish, or other athlete in the Olympics wearing similar headgear.

      The scarf restricts the field of vision, and they are asking her to take the scarf off for 60 MINUTES while she plays a game in which People Get Injured for different reasons all the time. This is America, and the league should wake up and realize that, if they permit her to wear something restricting her vision, and she injures another player, the league is LIABLE TO LAWSUIT. Wake up. Welcome to America.

  • Eric

    seriously all of you people that give yourselves sub categories as americans i.e. african americans, jewish americans, muslim americans, chinese americans ect… take away from what it means to be an american. if you live here you are an american plain and simple, when you put yourself into a sub category its like you are asking to be treated differently which would not make you equal which is what america is about, being equal. if you want the respect you think you deserve than stop sub categorizing yourselves and call yourselves amaericans, no sub categories included. there is no such thing as a japanese american they are simply american same as the rest of you that want to be put in a special category of american. you are not special you are just an american you are discriminated against because you want to be a certain kind of american which creates inequality. time to suck it up, you arent special just a regular american like the rest of us


      Amendment 1 – Freedom of Religion, Press, Expression. Ratified 12/15/1791. Note

      Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

    • UGH..


      • Thank You!

        UGH… you just made my day and I thank you for saying what I was thinking!

  • Greg Primrose

    This seems like a common sense solution to me. I think it is a perfectly reasonable accommodation that doesn’t interfere with the game or give her an unfair advantage.

    • YourThinkingisNotCommonSense

      The Problem with Common Sense is that it is not so common.

      Clearly, you don’t have it. See?

  • Simba

    A couple of things I wanted to convey to this post:

    1) I am not sure if the rules had been made with “ALL” in mind. They were made with all people playing at that particular time. I am sure those making the rules did not give much thought to specifically Islamic attire. However, personally, I feel that if certain rules have been made such as in this case, everyone should follow them. If you make an exception for one person, what makes their claim more legitimate than an other person’s? It does not matter whether the exception to the rule is safe or unsafe. That is irrelevant. What if I I wanted to paint my entire face in an odd color as part of my belief. It does not harm anyone on the basketball court but I am sure it would be a might distraction. Therefore, I believe no exception should be made in this case. If you have certain personal beliefs, you should not expect to follow them outside your house at the expense of changing certain rules.

    2) All a sub categorization does is give you the place of origin and helps in maintaining a culture. For example, a Japanese American can trace their roots back to Japan, however, they are American by citizenship. The first word denotes your background/culture/etc, and the second word (American) denotes your official citizenship. And most people who have categorizations such as Japanese American, Indian American, African American, etc have it because of history. You rarely see British American because they were never discriminated in this country. Most of the groups that identify themselves as a certain American, in most cases are minority groups that have been historically discriminated upon, hence you rarely see British American or German American or Irish American. These are the people that have run this county so there is no need to stick to that ethnicity.

    I am by no means saying my answers are the right answers. They are just MY opinions and I respect all your opinions even if I might disagree with some.

    • History Repeats

      Simba… In response to your paragraph “2)” – Please, please learn American History before you make ridiculous comments… German and Irish and Italian immigrants were ALL discriminated against when they first came to this country to live.
      The point that people are trying to make about sub-categorizing yourself is that all it does is separate you from everyone else. In most cases, the ancestors that people claim came here years, if not generations ago. Becoming an American Citizen (or being born one) means that your are now an AMERICAN – That is all the citizenship that you need to claim. No one says that you need to give up your heritage and traditions… what we as Americans expect is that you become part of us and this Nation. There is no reason to identify yourself as anything else other than an American. So if you, your parents and your grandparents were all born here in the USA, then you are nothing other than an AMERICAN. This whole sub-categorizing was put in place by the government… when it became “wrong” to categorize people by their race, they came up with new and exciting ways to keep us segregated and discriminated against. People need to wake up and start looking at their neighbors as just another person no matter their race, religion or ethnicity.

    • Irish American

      There isnt anything unsafe about her headscarf and they are not changing the rules for her specifically they are simply updating out of date bylaws.
      You dont hear of british Americans because they are the ones the founders of this country were trying to get away from, for religious freedom!

    • TefillahToo?

      This is the most Moronic Discussion Ever.

      I suppose Jewish Boys and Girls are allowed to play in their Tefillah if they so chose?

  • Teajay

    More people have been killed fighting over the seed of Abraham which ever they worship than for any other reason and probably will continue for centuries to come.

  • Afk Bot


  • civilized

    Does Osama Bin Laden play Basketball? If so then we should ban the headscarf because what if this family invites Bin Laden over for Christmas dinner and he decides that he wants to play basketball against America, we will never know its him! Maybe it was him. Maybe he has been playing Basketball all this time and what if he wins? If he wins we’ll ask for a re-match at Easter. Hopefully he won’t be too busy. Next time he’s over we could ask him if he could try to teach us the same tolerance and understanding of other cultures that his folks have toward us.

    Yes the Muslim faith is a great example of tolerance. I know this because of all the hundreds of Muslim people that absolutely refuse to make friends with me or even return a good morning wave, they make such good neighbors, I am truly blessed to be living in such a diverse and non friendly neighborhood.

    They are not bigoted like us, they have moved to this country because they love us, and they love our way of life and they desperately want to integrate with us, after all who doesn’t love money and raunchy films and, most of all, freedom to do whatever you want. Oh those poor Christian soldiers dying everyday to keep them free and safe from themselves, typical selfish us, life is all we are willing to give these people so that they can play basketball, and cry unfair at every opportunity. I feel so bad for them, lovely people that they are…..I think…..I guess.

    • Susan

      Another liberal nut job heard from. You are part of the problem. A Wishey Washey person that does not believe in following the rules for all. If you go to their countrym try wearing a short skirt to school/.

      • hasmania

        Susan u will not have any problem….u can wear shorts or bikini….lol…

    • Tired of Idiots

      There are so many things wrong with your statement I honestly dont know where to begin!
      You do realize that Muslims do not celebrate Christmas and no one cried unfair about anything. She was told she couldnt play so she didnt until they told her otherwise! You want to talk about fairness, a child in a situation like this did what she was told, didnt argue and patiently awaited a solution while fatcat americans do whatever they want whenever they want not caring how it hurts their neighbors because they have the money to get them out of any trouble that finds them. We could all learn something from this story instead of turning against our neighbors because of their color or creed!

  • scarlett

    this is not right. So, can a man playing football decide he wants to wear a tutu? This is her family’s religious position. Its not called for I understand in reality. A choice. I do not think it should be allowed any more than I think another child should wear jeans or sandals or a cap. Uniforms only. NO exceptions.

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