Hijab-Wearing Athletes and the Struggle for Equal Opportunities in Sports
Hijab-wearing athletes have been an ongoing topic of discussion, both in the sports arena and in the mainstream media. In this article, we'll take a closer look at the issues surrounding the visibility of Muslim women in sports, as well as the economic sustainability of such a movement.
Ibtihaj Muhammad is the first Muslim woman to compete for the United States in the Olympic Games wearing a hijab. A native of Maplewood, New Jersey, Muhammad is an activist and entrepreneur. In addition to her work as a fencer, she is also an author and sports ambassador. She has spoken about her own experience as a person of color in sports and her hopes for equality in sports.
After she graduated from Duke University, Ibtihaj pursued her athletic dreams. She became a three-time All-American and started competing at a world-class level. At age 13, she discovered fencing. Although the sport wasn't an obvious choice for a girl of color, she saw it as an opportunity to show her commitment to her religion.
As a young woman of color, Muhammad has faced discrimination in both her personal and professional life. However, she is unafraid to confront misconceptions. Using her platform as an athlete, Muhammad has worked to change the perceptions of black muslim women.
Muhammad is a fierce advocate for equality in sports. She believes that "sports should be used as a tool for positive change." Throughout her career, Muhammad has fought against xenophobia and racism. Moreover, she has created a foundation to empower other Muslim women athletes.
The 30-year-old is a world-class fencer, author, speaker, and entrepreneur. Her work has been featured in Time magazine's 100 Most Influential People list. Also, she is the founder of a clothing line for Muslim women. One of her first books, "Proud: My Fight for an Unlikely American Dream", was a New York Times bestseller.
Muhammad has a mission to unite the sports and non-sports worlds. She founded a foundation called Athletes for Impact.
Hijab-wearing athletes have been making waves all over the globe. From Nike's first sports-friendly hijab, to the latest trend of niqab on the beach, a growing number of female Muslim athletes are showing their mettle.
The 'Muslim Women's Sports Foundation' is an organization that hopes to get more Muslim girls and women into sport. Their website claims that 26.1% of Asian women participate in the recommended weekly levels of sport.
Another organization promoting the benefits of wearing a head covering is Surviving Hijab. It promotes religious freedom and offers a safe space for women. Founded by Muslim survivor Noor Alexandria Abukaram, the group aims to give young female athletes the courage to overcome the stigma attached to wearing a hijab.
Surviving Hijab's mission is to provide women with a safe place to exercise and learn. It runs advertisements on social media and raises money for its moderation team. They also run a campaign to encourage female athletes to wear a hijab.
Ibtihaj Muhammad was the first American to compete in the Olympics while wearing a hijab. She won a bronze medal in the women's fencing competition. This was a notable accomplishment. However, it was the book that she wrote about her journey that truly changed her life.
While many sports federations don't explicitly prohibit hijab, they can inadvertently do so. One such example is the governing body of basketball. FIBA has been known to ban headgear on the court, but in recent years it's changed its mind and allows hijab-wearing basketball players to play professionally.
For the past decade, a growing number of Muslim designers have been producing hijabs specifically for the sporting market. Some examples include the Nike Pro Hijab, Capsters, and Sukoon.
Nike's Pro Hijab
The Nike Pro Hijab is a high-performance sportswear garment that is made from light, breathable polyester. In addition to being stylish and functional, it's also the first hijab produced by a global sports brand. Designed by Muslim figure skater Zahra Lari, the athletic hijab is available in three colors: black, obsidian, and vast grey.
While this hijab has received mixed reviews and hasn't even hit the market yet, it has generated a lot of buzz. Nike's "Pro Hijab" is not the first sports hijab sold by a major sportswear brand, but it's the first marketed to professional athletes. This is a huge milestone for the company and an important move towards inclusion.
As you might have noticed, the Nike Pro Hijab is not cheap. It's expected to cost $35. But this doesn't mean it's any less expensive than other athletic hijabs on the market. Instead, it's meant to be a premium product that's worth the money.
Nike's Pro Hijab comes to the market after testing it out with a range of muslim athletes. One of those testers is Ibtihaj Muhammad, who became the first Muslim woman in America to podium at the Olympics. Muhammad is a former weightlifter who competed at a world-class level. He was also one of the first Muslim athletes to wear a hijab in an Olympic event.
It's no surprise that Nike's Pro Hijab is receiving a mix of positive and negative feedback. Some say it's the perfect symbol of freedom for Muslim athletes. Others believe it's a symbol of oppression. Still others argue that the hijab is the best way to show support for the Muslim community.
The new Nike Pro Hijab is just the latest in a long line of innovations from Nike. Nike has a presence on every continent, and it is a global brand. They have a responsibility to their customers and service them in all regions.
Elbadawi's campaign to remove religious headgear on courts
Asma Elbadawi's campaign to remove religious headgear on courts has been a huge success. After a two-year campaign, she collected more than 130,000 signatures. This made her one of the most powerful voices in the battle to end the ban on religious head coverings in basketball. FIBA, which governs the sport in several countries, has reversed its rule.
In the past, women who played basketball with hijab were denied the opportunity to compete professionally. That's why Asma Elbadawi lobbied the International Basketball Association (FIBA). It was only after her petition that Fiba reversed its rules. A year later, many Muslim women were able to compete in professional basketball.
Asma Elbadawi also became a spoken word poet, empowering young people from BAME backgrounds to speak out about social issues. Her poems have been featured on the British Broadcasting Corporation and she has won multiple poetry awards. She is a global activist who has received support from several celebrities, including Martina Navratilova, Billie Jean King and Abdul-Qaadir Muhammad.
The Douglasville Municipal Court has a policy against religious headgear being worn in court. On the day Valentine was arrested for protesting the policy, she was told to remove her religious headgear. Officers then restrained her and jailed her for several hours.
A class-action lawsuit has been filed against the City of New York. The plaintiffs claim that the city has violated their First Amendment rights. Attorneys involved include Chara Fisher Jackson and Shahshahani of the ACLU of Georgia and Joseph F. Hession of the American Civil Liberties Union.
A federal judge has denied the City's motion to dismiss the lawsuit. According to the plaintiffs, the city's ban on religious headwear in sports violates their First Amendment rights.
A quick Google search turned up a handful of mentions, but the triumvirate of a burgeoning community of Muslim sports enthusiasts has sparked interest. For starters, they aren't just looking for an excuse to exercise, but for an opportunity to network with like-minded athletes. As for business, this has prompted several high-end brands to enter the modesty market. But as the shariah-compliant consumer becomes more discerning, these outfits are going to have to think outside the box if they are to stand a chance.
The name of the game is in defining a path to success. In short, it requires the purchase of a new fangled high-tech gizmo, preferably one that hasn't been snatched up by the competition. This is where the small and mighty savvies of the shariah-compliant come in handy. Of course, this also necessitates a healthy dose of faith. Hopefully, the next generation of Muslim sports enthusiast can be a happy and healthy family with the kinks ironed out and the shariah-compliant in tact.