Friday, April 28, 2017

Wearing a hijab, a young Muslim boxer enters the ring

By Laurel Wamsley
Minnesota teen, 16-year-old Amaiya Zafar has been granted a religious exemption to fight in one bout while wearing hijab.
In November, young boxer Amaiya Zafar traveled from Minnesota to Florida to fight her first competitive bout. But before Zafar even had her gloves on, officials called off the fight – they told the 16-year-old she had to remove the hijab she wore or forfeit the match. A devout Muslim, Zafar refused, and her 15-year-old opponent was declared the victor. USA Boxing, the sport's national governing body, has dictated that athletes fight in sleeveless jerseys and shorts no longer than the knee. Zafar adds long sleeves, leggings, and a sporty hijab to the uniform. The organization appears to be shifting its policy, and last week it granted Zafar a religious exemption to compete wearing the hijab so she can fight this weekend in Minneapolis. [link]

1 comment:

Ellery McCardle, KARE said...

More than three years of training lead to a big night for an Oakdale teen. Last month, Amaiya Zafar was granted permission to compete in a local boxing match, wearing a hijab and covering her arms and legs. Last night, there was a large crowd inside of the gym at Richard R. Green Central Park Elementary School in Minneapolis. Many people came to witness history being made, as Zafar became the first person to wear a hijab while competing in a USA Boxing sanctioned event. While Zafar did not win the match, she said the night wasn't about winning. "It's not about the outcome it's that all girls should have a chance. It doesn't matter if I won or not," said Zafar, who broke down in tears after the fight, overwhelemed with happiness that she was able to box in her first match. "It felt like I had a purpose you know? And I look over and my coach says 'Look at those kids. You're here for them,'" said Zafar.