Hijab-wearing Muslim women have been competitive athletes for many decades, yet there are currently hijab bans that restrict women enjoying the sports they love. For example, FIBA, the governing federation of basketball, does not permit players to wear head coverings resulting in thousands of players excluded from the sport. The Rio 2016 Olympic games revealed the Muslim women role models who inspire young girls to start dreaming of Olympic success. These role models normalize the idea of an athlete in a hijab or in long sleeves and broaden the scope of what an athlete may look like. The incessant conversations around Muslim women’s clothing can often be toxic. In the same summer that saw Iranian beach volleyball players competing on the beaches of Rio, a controversial “Burkini Ban” in some French cities revealed how Muslim women are still viewed as suspicious. This panel seeks to address the following question: What role can sport play in promoting social justice for all? The panel will focus on Muslim women as role models and the rich histories of Muslim women in sport who have shown that clothing isn't an obstacle to sporting success.
Programming descriptions are generated by participants and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of SXSW.