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American Team Wears Hijab to Support Captain

23 April 2012 General 31 Comments Email This Post Email This Post
"There's always light at the end of the tunnel," Khan said.

"There's always light at the end of the tunnel," Khan said.

HOLLYWOOD – Cheering up their Muslim teammate, a Floridian high school football team decided to don hijab before their season finale game to show solidarity with their Muslim captain who has been taunted repeatedly over her religious outfit.

“Everybody looked at us weird,” West Broward senior Marilyn Solorzano told Sun Sentinel website on Friday, April 20.

“I understand now everything she went through and how hard it must have been.

“We just wore it for one day, and we noticed the difference. It was hard to keep on. It kept falling and our heads got really hot. You have to give her [credit] for wearing it every day.”

Donning hijab in middle school, Irum Khan, 17-year-old captain of West Broward High flag football team, endured far more than the usual pre-teenage taunting.

Early during her first years of high school, some classmates called her a terrorist and cursed at her.

She had rocks thrown at her and was physically attacked more than once.

“I got a lot of weird looks when I started wearing the hijab,” said Khan, who first donned the modest clothing in fifth grade and wears long sleeves and tights under her uniform.

“Kids at that age don’t know a lot about it. I went through half the year in sixth grade and then I took it off.

“I couldn’t take the name-calling, the strange looks, the racial slurs. It was too much.”

Though she hid the abuse from her family and school officials, she finally spoke up as her parents encouraged her to talk with school administrators and things got better.

Though none of Khan’s team has ever faced this bullying, they decided to take a stand and get a small taste of how difficult life can sometimes be for one of their own.

The idea of wearing hijab was first mentioned by Khan when she jokingly said it would be interesting for the whole team to wear the traditional Muslim dress during a game.

Instead of laughing, Solorzano, a fellow captain, seized on the opportunity.

“Everyone thought it was a really cool idea to support her and her religion,” she said.

“It’s really important to us because Irum is the only one here that’s covered head to toe. We thought it’d be something nice.”

Solidarity

The idea to wear hijab by the whole team was praised by the team coach as showing solidarity that unites the players.

“We’ve been trying to stress that the team comes first. The team always comes first,” Matt Garris, the West Broward coach, told xx

“When they came to me, it made me feel good to see them taking the initiative there. They showed team unity.

“Here they were, displaying something we were trying to get to them. You don’t always see that,” he added.

Islam sees hijab as an obligatory code of dress, not a religious symbol displaying one’s affiliations.

Committing to her Islamic outfit and favorite sport, Khan will be enrolling at FIU next fall, with plans of attending medical school and studying sports medicine.

“I had to show my family that I could balance work, school, sports, family time and my religion,” she said.

“It took a year to prove myself, but they support me all the way. They’ve let me pursue it and I love them for that.”

Feeling grateful to her teammates, Khan found the strength to continue being true to herself, her sport and her faith.

“There’s always light at the end of the tunnel,” she said.

“You can’t give up.”

Original post: American Team Don Hijab to Support Captain

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31 Comments »

  1. So cool! Would have been neat to see a team photo ready to go. Good luck to all of you–. Sorry to hear that this brave captain has had to endure this, but admiring her perceverance and attitude.

  2. Awesome.. Now if adults can get it through their heads to stop being so hateful, the world my have a better chance. :)

  3. The younger generation always gets it quicker than the older generation. It’s always wonderful to read inspiring stories on this blog, rather than the usual bad news. This really warms the heart.

  4. Beautiful act of initiative!!

  5. Dear West Broward High Flag Football Team,
    Thank you, thank you, thank you! It is students and young people like yourselves that give me hope for the world and our ability to be as inclusive and accepting as we should be.
    Sincerely,
    Jim (a white, hetero, Christian, male who just gives a damn about how others are treated)

  6. beautiful! brava to those girls for standing alongside their teammate, and brava to this young lady for doing what she feels led to do, even in the face of bullying . . . :)

  7. As a muslim I want to say that these are the qualities that have made America a truly admired nation for a long time. It saddens me that such a great nation is fast losing the very values upon which its greatness was founded. I am worried that the ‘average american’ of tomorrow may be a bigoted, biased and narrow minded hateful creature – leading america to the very demise that islam experienced during the 1300s. I can only hope that islam and america (which share so many values) can one day be looked upon as not being mutually exclusive

  8. This song is for Khan! Your sister Noha Ahmed, may Allah bless ur life!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5aTsQL42-cg&feature=youtube_gdata_player

  9. That was such a great thing to do to show support for their fellow teammate. well done.

  10. Hats off to the team to show solidarity .I wish the adults would stop being racist and antireligion.Every one should have a right to live their lives accordingly.

  11. Wearing “hijab” I’d unislamic if it draws attention to a person. Had hijab been compulsory all females would have been in hijab during Hajj. It is compulsory in Islam to dress in such a way to one mingles out in public and in no way should one attract attention. These fanatics are not representing faith but trying to popularize themselves.

  12. “I am worried that the ‘average american’ of tomorrow may be a bigoted, biased and narrow minded hateful creature”

    Inayat, the growing dislike of Islam is fueled by Muslim groups such as CAIR and the Muslim Brotherhood who push a very clear and anti-American agenda. Unfortunately, groups such as your football team are on the receiving end of what you call bigotry because of these Muslim groups that are at fault for their hateful agenda against America.

  13. danny,

    i don’t think you understand the rules. everyone in the world is allowed to point out the problems in western societies. individual actions within the west is evidence of the bigotry of the entire society. but if you point out problems in cultures outside of the western world, your a bigot. and the actions of individuals is not symptomatic of problems witin the larger society. it’s the corrupt rulers and the uneducated. you have to give them a pass.

  14. Blessed are the peacemakers!

  15. I am struck with admiration. Pure and simple.

  16. Fantastic! Gives me hope for future of this planet and the human race! Bravo for stepping up for one of your own! Cheers.

  17. Wow!! Truly admirable. It emphasises the unity and solidarity of your team and friendship.
    Masha’Allah :)

  18. Wow!!!! Amazing…. new generation is far better….

  19. TEAM PHOTO!!

  20. So 30 years later they’ll be beating up women for not wearing scarves.

  21. Some years ago an Iranian lady posted that her headgear had fallen completely off in public. She received a fine of about $1,000 and a notice to come take 25 lashes.

    The wonders of theocracy and theocratic delusions never cease.

  22. hope the world will be peacefull

  23. Anon,

    Iranian is not an example of Islam you need to find out how they were created and how they toke over Iran. You need to read more about islam and what its about and your going to find out how these terrorists are not Muslims because there doing the opposite of what islam is about. And please stop listening to the media because we all know there giving the wrong message, they want us to hate each other and fight. If you think islam is all about harmony and killing than your wrong because you wouldn’t see all the muslims living in other countries who has different believes.

  24. Woooow nice I love this GiRl’s ;*

  25. she is so sincere for her faith.. and very big greetings for her colleagues. great solidarity

  26. Khan & her team make humanity proud. I hope people will start respecting one another on this earth for no one is better creature than others.

  27. Good thing really proud of them islam is beautiful & peacefull wish u all turn into a musslim :)

  28. This is America I love and those are the American we admire

  29. i really liked thier action

  30. Cool, you are really amazing this is show your nice manner, I just hope all people like you .. wish for you the best luck

  31. @ naser- I suppose you thing Saudi Arabia, or the UAE are real examples of Islam? Probably because they are Sunni (like you ) and Iran is Shia. Do Shut up.you don’t know anything. When I went to Saudi Arabia I came to hate Islam because of the culture and govt there. When I went to Iran, I converted to
    Islam shortly afterward. Stop bringing your moronic
    Brand of politics into this. Sure, there may not be any pure examples of Islam anywhere in this world, there also aren’t any pure examples of peace, democracy or justice but the message itself is pure and you’re the furthest from it.

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