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Getting worked up over scarves: it's not just for soccer anymore!

   16 April 2007, early morning

I don’t want to get into religious issues. I’m not a racist. I understand they’re disappointed. We’re not shutting the door on the Muslim community, we’re just enforcing the rules and regulations that are there to be respected. — Jean Flacher, Tae kwon do team knocked out for wearing hijab

I don’t know him Jean Flacher, but I am sure he’s a nice fellow. Still, using rules as an excuse for discriminatory behaviour is lame to say the least. The girls aren’t wearing baseball caps, they are wearing scarves required of them for their religion. When you don’t let them participate, you are effectively shutting the door to them and their community. (Also, people need to get over the idea that there is a giant global Muslim community. You’d look like an idiot if you started prattling on about the Christian community, but talking about all Muslims like they were a homogenous unit is quite reasonable in the West. People seem unable to get past the fact that Muslims from Pakistan are probably different than Muslims from Africa who are probably different than Muslims from Saudi Arabia.) I’m left wondering how long this rule will stay in effect. I’m also wondering if such a ban exists on turbans.

All of that said, why little girls are being asked to wear scarves? It seems a bit off from my understanding of what head scarves are for, and what they mean. I don’t see why an 10 year old needs to worry about modestly before god after all. Maybe a Muslim reader can chime in. I notice Shima thinks that is a bit off as well.



  1. I know there are a few kids that compete in the provincial karate competitions and they wear turbans and they’re allowed to participate.

    And in my karate class we have one girl who wears a hajib and she does just fine! In fact it’s great since it keeps her hair out of her face. We have to remind all the other girls that they need to put their hair in a pony tail. I wish more of my girls wore hajibs! hah.

    I have no idea why young girls need to wear head scarves. But then again I’m not the best Muslim. Though my dad also agrees that young girls don’t need to be wearing a hajib.. in fact he doesn’t think anyone needs to be wearing a hajib. ...

  2. Look’s like he thinks Muslim’s are all one race too.

    Well, Hijab = Organized Religion = ya, so no fun sports for you.

  3. One argument I’ve read is that parents have their kids wear them when young to get their kids used to the idea of wearing them. Getting a 15 year old to start wearing a scarf is probably tougher than getting a kid who has been wearing one since she’s 8 to keep wearing one; I would think so at least. I’m not so sure there is some religious mandate for a little girl to wear a scarf.

  4. i recall in my islamic class (someone please confirm this) according to some sunni community that you begin wearing hijab once you begin your period because it signifies a girl’s coming of age through puberty. It’s largely symbolic of the girl’s faith by dressing modestly.

    and so there’s no one set age for when to begin wearing a headscarf as it depends on when puberty hits

  5. Tiff, you are absolutely correct.

    I just don’t agree with the idea of forcing a girl as young as 8 to wear a hajib. She probably does not understand the significance of the head scarf and only does what her parents tell her, which isn’t always the right thing. Anyways, why not let her decide when she is older and more mature? Why is the onus put on women? Why don’t men do something about their wandering eyes?

    And why are men not forced to do anything quite as symbolic when they become of age?


    Muslims need to just stop interpreting the Koran so literally! I guess that could be said of any other religion.

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