As the human rights lawyers descend upon Manitoba to take up Hagar Outbih’s case, Kathy Shaidle puts the whole thing in perspective:
Stories like this one make the news more frequently these days. I don’t get it. Muslim reps always say, “No one is making me wear a headscarf. It is an expression of modesty”, blah blah.
Well: is it mandatory or not? If not — and you say it isn’t, not me — then the girl can remove it to compete.
The rules say you can’t wear such a scarf. So take it off and follow our rules.
Oh but wait: suddenly the scarf IS mandatory. See why we get annoyed?
“Head scarf breaks rules,” from the CP:
A Judo Manitoba official reduced an 11-year-old girl to tears yesterday when he refused to allow her to compete in a tournament wearing a hijab, or Muslim head scarf.
While other children squared off in the match at a Winnipeg gym, Hagar Outbih could only watch from the sidelines and wonder why she was singled out.
“He said that I can’t fight. If I want to fight I have to take it off or I have to leave,” Outbih said as tears rolled down her face.
Hagar’s mother, Khadaja, tried to console her daughter.
“As a mom I feel so bad that my daughter would go through this.” she said.
Judo Manitoba president Dave Minuk made the ruling.
He said it was based on International Judo Federation guidelines.
“It has nothing to do with religion, it is a safety issue,” Minuk said. “It (the hijab) could be used to strangle somebody. It could fall over her face.”