Saturday 10 March 2012

Hijab Ban in International Football Lifted

A number of newspapers are reporting on the International Football Association Board's decision to lift the ban on hijab for female football players:

The Independent (4 March 2012):
The International Football Association Board, world soccer's rule-making body, unanimously agreed to overturn a ban on the headscarf at its meeting in Surrey yesterday.

But it took the intervention of a Jordanian prince, Premier League footballers – and a new Velcro-based design – to convince the guardians of the game that Islamic women should be granted their wish. It is expected they will be able to wear the hijab while playing once the decision has been ratified in July. the ban was introduced in 2007.

The new design, fastened with Velcro instead of pins, persuaded Fifa that safety was no longer an issue, bringing soccer in line with rugby and track and field events.

The Huffington Post (3 March 2012):
Observant Muslim women's soccer players won a first victory on Saturday with the International Football Association Board's (IFAB) decision to allow the players to test specially designed headscarves for the next four months.

The Guardian (3 March 2012):
IFAB, which comprises four representatives from the world governing body FIFA and four from the British associations, also agreed in principle to overturn the decision they took in 2007 and will now allow Islamic women footballers to wear a hijab, or headscarf, when they play.

The hijab decision, taken after a presentation to the Board by FIFA executive committee member Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein of Jordan, was agreed by all eight members and will also be subject to further testing with a view to a final decision on July 2.

"I am deeply grateful that the proposal to allow women to wear the headscarf was unanimously endorsed by all members of IFAB," Prince Ali said.
"I welcome their decision for an accelerated process to further test the current design and I'm confident that once the final ratification at the sepcial meeting of IFAB takes place, we will see many delighted and happy players returning to the field and playing the game they love."

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Muslim Sisters of Dayton Doing Their Bit

The Dayton Daily News (9th March 2012) carries an article about the Muslim Sisters of Dayton:

"In January, Husein and a small group of women formed the Muslim Sisters of Dayton.

The organization promotes charitable activities throughout the Miami Valley as a positive representation of Islamic values.

“Our very first project was to help at (Kettering Hospital), supplying knitted caps for the newborn children,” Husein said.

“And we just completed a coat drive through Warm Coats and Warm Hearts, collecting 228 coats in two weeks,” Husein said.

“They were so happy with us, but we were more happy in helping them out.”

Many coat donors were friends, neighbors and co-workers outside the Muslim community.

“We don’t care who the person is, as long as they are kind to each other,” she said. “Anyone and everyone who wants can come to work with us.”

Next up? Serving the homeless and those in nursing homes, and working with the Women For Women International, a charity that educates and empowers third-world victims of war, human trafficking and other violence.

“Wherever there’s a need, we would want to help,” Husein said."

You can read the full article here.

Wednesday 7 March 2012

Muslims Build Homes for Fellow Americans

OnIslam (7th March 2012) describes a volunteering project undertaken by Muslim students from Georgetown University in Washington D.C. have volunteered to build homes for residents in south Parkesburg in West Virginia:

"In a new outreach to show the true face of their religion, Muslim students are volunteering to help build homes for residents of the US state of West Virginia.

"They are one of the most delightful groups of students you are ever going to meet," Gwen Miles, volunteer coordinator for Wood County Habitat for Humanity, told the Parkesburg News and Sentinel on Wednesday, March 7.

"This is the first group of Muslim students (to volunteer here) and the first group we've had from as far away as Washington, D.C.”

"Not many students would give up their Spring Break to come work in cold and snowy Parkersburg," Miles said.

"They are making the best of it."

"I asked how we can best translate our faith into action, how we can best be Americans,” said Imam Yahya Hendi, Muslim chaplain for Georgetown University.

“The idea is to be there for those who are overlooked," he said. "The students decided to take this idea seriously."

Read the full article and quotes from the students here.