Muslim women have largely been kept from playing on the basketball court--but not for religious reasons. One of the sports' official rules, in fact, ban all headgear from being worn on the court for safety reasons. The good news is that the rule will soon become history.
Asma Elbadawi plays basketball in the north of England. The 27-year-old Muslim can play in local leagues wearing a hijab. However, in professional and international games, if basketball players choose to cover their heads, they are banned from participating. She has run a campaign for removal of such a ban.
==ASMA ELBADAWI basketball player ==
We can take it off if we wanted to, if there were female only environments. But then the whole point is that we want to maintain our modesty and we want to play with people that are not Muslims as well, and at the same time, we just want to belong to a sport or a team.
The ban was imposed 20 years ago for safety reasons by the International Basketball Federation, or FIBA, the world's governing body for basketball. It was feared that head covers could fall off and cause injury. Many argue that the ruling prevents Muslim, Sikh and Jewish communities from playing the sport. Due to the ban, the Qatar women's team withdrew from the 2014 Asian Games. From then on, FIBA began a revision process with exceptions at national level of a 2-year testing period. It was not until recently that FIBA approved an amendment. The new rule allows players to wear headgear with conditions on design and color. It will go into effect in October this year.
==RAABYA PASHA basketball player==
People will see that, hopefully, more frequently and then they won't ever see somebody come onto the court wearing hijab (and think), 'Can she even play? Does she know what she's doing? Is she in the wrong space?'
Earlier this year, major apparel brands took steps to integrate Muslim fashion into their product lines.
== TV COMMERCIAL==
What are they going to say about you? That you are not supposed to be there.
The sportswear business has received mixed reactions. Some criticize the product normalizes the oppression of women. Some Islamic conservatives say women should not play sport at all. As an athlete, Elbadawi said she wants from such multinational companies more than the option of buying their wares.
==ASMA ELBADAWI basketball player==
The hijab is just the first step. So we'd like to see more things. Are they (major brands) going to sponsor the athletes? What else are they going to do to empower Muslims all over the world?
Her coach believes people from all background are welcome to play basketball.
TRANSLATED BY：SASHA CHIU
INTERNATIONAL BASKETBALL BODY LIFTS HIJAB BAN|國際籃總改20年禁令 穿戴宗教頭巾可出賽
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