Putting Faith and Sports on the Same Team

Source: The New York Times


Fatimah Hussein was born in Somalia and immigrated to Minneapolis when she was 6 with her family, fleeing civil war. Ms. Hussein and her sister played softball when they were young, but in middle school they stopped, as did many of their Muslim peers. “It was not normal to see girls playing sports,” she said of her childhood.

“You’d see boys continuing to play and getting support by the parents,” said Ms. Hussein, now 29 and a social worker. “It’s not that my dad ever said, ‘You can’t play,’ but we just never got that encouragement.”

Another impediment was that Ms. Hussein and her sister wore hijabs, the scarves that many Muslim women and girls use to cover their heads, ears and necks. The garments are typically made of thick fabric that wraps around the neck; some hijabs require pins as fasteners. On the playing field, hijabs are prone to unraveling, and they can be hot and unwieldy. Sometimes they’re even dangerous — other players could trip on them if they unravel, or the pins could jab the wearer or others.

During her childhood Ms. Hussein said she was preoccupied by thoughts of “this doesn’t look right, this is falling, I don’t feel comfortable inside.”

Read more

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.