Here we go again. A Canadian makes a personal choice to follow a religion. She then chooses to participate in a public activity whose mandate clearly stipulates that all must abide by set regulations. She chooses to agree to those regulations. She then however, on behalf of her religion, chooses to break those established rules and yet expects that those rules should be changed to accommodate her.
So now, as if the rules she earlier agreed upon are somehow arbitrary and unnecessary, she preys upon our tolerance and goodwill in an attempt to break down the very freedoms that afford her the opportunity to choose in the first place.
I have no doubt that given the choice, should there have been a majority of Muslims within the league, it would be mandatory for all female participants to wear hijabs, regardless of their religion, with no apologies proffered. One has only to turn their attention to many swimming pools in major Canadian cities to see that, despite decades of hard fought battles to end gender discrimination, it is once again being re-instated in the name of sensitivity to Islamic demands (not to mention that basic rules of hygiene and safety are also being ignored under the pretence of cultural forbearance).
It is now time for us to clearly state and compel those values and the rules they stipulate to those who choose to reside within our society. Why? Because they are BETTER than those they wish to replace them with. There! I said it! So sue me!!
From The National Post.
MONTREAL . A Quebec teenager who referees soccer games has been cut because she wears a hijab on the field.
Sarah Benkirane has been refereeing games on Montreal’s West Island and in Vaudreuil, Que., further west, for about two years, and was shocked last week to get a call from the Lac St. Louis Regional Soccer Association telling her she was fired.
“It seems so unfair,” said Ms. Benkirane, a 15-year-old Muslim who lives in Vaudreuil. “It’s always tucked into my shirt, it’s not hanging and it’s part of my religion. It doesn’t make any sense.”
But the decision makes sense to the general manager of the association and to the Quebec Soccer Federation, which unequivocally backed the Lac St. Louis decision this week.
“The uniform has to be worn properly, like every other referee,” said Edouard Saint-Lo, general manager of the Lac St. Louis association. “It’s a shirt, shorts, socks and referee shoes. There’s no jewellery, no hijab on the head. You’re not even allowed to wear a cap.”
Michel Dugas, communications co-ordinator of the Quebec Soccer Federation, said it would be illogical to have a referee wearing a hijab tell players they couldn’t play with a hijab.
Furthermore, the Federation Internationale de Foot-ball Association, soccer’s international governing body, revisited the hijab issue again just this month and stayed firm on its position that hijabs can’t be allowed on the soccer field, he said after the Quebec federation held a news conference Monday to respond to inquiries about Ms. Benkirane’s dismissal.
“The decision is that players and officials shall not display political, religious, commercial or personal messages or slogans in any language or form,” Mr. Dugas said. “That’s a very recent decision, and the federation has to respect the rules laid out by FIFA.”
Mr. Saint-Lo said the reason Ms. Benkirane was relieved of her duties is not because there was a change to the rules, but because someone finally noticed they were being broken when she wore a hijab as a referee.
“It’s not my decision, but I have to reinforce the rules,” he said. “I have no personal opinion on this.”
Ms. Benkirane thinks the decision is offensive.
“It’s just a sign of my modesty and how I choose to express myself,” she said in an interview. “I thought we were free to practise religion in this country if you’re not hurting anyone else, and I’m not hurting anyone else.”
Sport hijabs are offered for sale online and Muslim women wearing hijabs play FIFA-sanctioned soccer across the Middle East, Australia, Ontario, British Columbia and the United States.
But Iran said this month it was lodging a complaint against FIFA after it barred its women’s team from playing an Olympic qualifier for wearing hijab.
In 2007, after a controversial decision to ban a girl from playing soccer in Quebec, FIFA backed Quebec’s ban on hijabs. That gave the Quebec Soccer Federation a green light to maintain its controversial prohibition of hijabs from the province’s soccer fields.