CAIR-CAN, Canada’s leading Muslim grievance outfit and law-fare outreach group, has decided to carry the torch on behalf of hijab wearing soccer referee Sarah Benkirane.
CAIR-CAN believes that FIFA rules should have no jurisdiction on Canadian soccer fields when it comes to the choice of cultural dress (it has been well established, even by Muslim scholars, that the Hijab is not mandatory religious garb).
But what I find the most interesting in this article is the quote “Upholding this ban sends the message to young people that what matters not are your skills but whether or not you fit a predetermined ‘look’.” Very curious indeed coming from a totalitarian ideology that demands, more than any other group, just how people are required to ‘look’.
How about this instead: By challenging this rule, CAIR-CAN sends the message to young people that it is not what resides in your heart that determines your piety, but rather what resides on your head!
Tuesday, June 21, 2011 1:32 pm
– For Immediate Release –
(Ottawa, Canada – June 21, 2011) – The Canadian Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-CAN), a national Muslim civil rights organization, today called the decision by the Quebec Soccer Federation (QSF) to ban a Muslim referee, Sarah Benkirane, 15, and a Sikh player, Sagerpreet Singh, from respectively refereeing and participating if they maintain their religious dress, a violation of Canada’s various human rights codes. In making this decision, the QSF cited the rules set forth by the world’s governing body FIFA, which forbids wearing anything of a religious nature on the pitch.
“Despite FIFA’s position as the international governing body on the sport, their mandate does not supersede the rights of Canadians to be free from religious discrimination in Canada. With the abundant availability of new religious headgear which can satisfy both religious and safety requirements it is clearly discriminatory to suggest that players ‘check their religion at the door’ when there is no practical reason for such a ruling,” said CAIR-CAN Human Rights & Civil Liberties Officer Julia Williams.
“While FIFA may argue that its ruling creates a ‘level playing field’ for all participants, its very nature is exclusionary. Upholding this ban sends the message to young people that what matters not are your skills but whether or not you fit a predetermined ‘look’.
“We call on the QSF to ignore FIFA’s ruling on the wearing of religious dress that does not present a health and safety hazard and to send a clear and unequivocal message to FIFA that their rulings cannot supersede Canadian human rights laws. Everyone young person in Canada should have the right to play.”
CAIR-CAN extends its offer to help resolve any perceived safety issues related to hijab through creative solutions such as Velcro fasteners on the player’s scarf.
CAIR-CAN is a national, non-profit, grassroots organization striving to be a leading voice that enriches Canadian society through Muslim civic engagement and the promotion of human rights.