FIFA dragged into Canadian row over girl´s hijab

5 03 2007

Source: (What Age do Muslim Girls start to wear the Hijab?)

Source:  Antara 

Source: Soccerway  Written by: AFP

MONTREAL (AFP) – A young girl’s expulsion from a tournament this weekend for wearing a hijab will be upheld by Quebec soccer officials, they said Monday, unless the world soccer federation FIFA changes gear rules.

Asmahan Mansour, 11, was ousted from a tournament on Sunday in a Montreal suburb after refusing to take off her hijab, the head scarf many Muslim women wear under religious principles.

Brigitte Frot, executive director of the Quebec Soccer Federation, told AFP she was not allowed on the field for safety reasons, not religious objections.

“It’s unfortunate,” she said. “I believe FIFA will have to rule, yes or no, whether hijabs are permitted on the soccer field. Whatever they decide, we’ll abide by the rules.”

Until then, however, Mansour and other Muslim women would not be allowed to play soccer in Canada’s French-speaking Quebec province while wearing a head scarf, she said.

The incident that sparked a national outcry occurred about five minutes into a game Sunday, when the Nepean coach wished to substitute Mansour, who was not in the starting line-up, for another player.

Media reports said the referee, who is coincidentally Muslim himself, feared Mansour could be choked if the scarf were tugged on.

“Based on FIFA rules, the referee asked the young girl to remove her hijab, fearing it posed a danger to her and other players. She refused,” Frot said.

Mansour’s Nepean Hotspurs Selects team quit the tournament to show solidarity with their teammate. Four other teams also joined the boycott.

Rules of the Zurich-based FIFA, which governs international soccer play, do not specify a ban on head scarves.

But Frot insisted local players are covered by FIFA’s strict dress code, which bans any equipment or wear, including jewellery, that could be dangerous to players.

The Quebec federation had previously disallowed players who wore piercing rings or medical bracelets, she noted.

What a sad story, sad on two fronts.  The first is simply that this child cannot partake in a common childhood event – soccer.  The second is that this even has to be an issue.

In all honesty, an 11 year old girl did not come up with this idea for a battle on her own, it is most common in Muslim customs for girls of puberty age and older to wear the hijab, because they are affirming their beliefs and roll in the Muslim society, no small decision for a child.  Sadly I believe she was forced into starting a battle.

Although, the rules in Ontario and Quebec differ for their soccer associations.  Ontario uses the rules of the Canadian federation for soccer, while Quebec uses a variation of the FIFA rules.  Canadian rules allow for reglious head dress, while the Quebec rules were not clear (hense the reason this has come up as a debate)

I’m trying to see what FIFA would not allow the Hijab.  The only reasoning I can come up with is that they would have to rule it yeah or ney for all relgious head dresses, take the Sihk turban one could argue that it could be used as additional padding and provide an unfair advantage.

What do you think?

Put Your Tits Away Love!

3 03 2007


I can appreciate a nice set a knockers as much as the next person, but let me say I believe there is a time and place for them.

Church on Sunday – not appropriate

Clubbing on Saturday Night – (a little more) appropriate

Recently I was at Square One mall in Mississauga Ontario, and I was absolutely flabbergasted by the amount of woman in the mall with kids being breastfed.


Now before I come across as an anti-breast feeding Nazi, as mentioned above – I believe there is a time and place. In the middle of the mall, regardless if there are big comfy leather couches or not, is NOT the place to be suckling your young. I don’t remember seeing so many woman breastfeeding in public just a few short years ago, then again, I don’t remember those big comfy leather couches either.

I believe that breast feeding is beautiful, natural, loving, helps create a special bond between mother and child . . . I’m just not sure how I fit into the equation. . .

Could busy lifestyles not allow for that special private time to happen? What about woman scorn by having to give up their careers to raise the family?

Is there another baby boom I just wasn’t aware of, or are we all just so much more comfortable with our skin?

Bluewater mall in Dartford, England (just off Junction 1 of the M25 for those who know the area – check out the store Topaz, awesome furniture!!) has the most beautiful “Mothers and Families” room. Large overstuffed couches, classical music, water feature, soft lighting. . . . all in a bid to keep ladies with their kit over their knockers while in the middle of the mall.

While I was there once with a friend we stopped at Pizza Express for lunch, during lunch we were disturbed by this lady two tables over in a power suit, having one of her two kids attached at the tit, the other a toddler of about 2 running around screaming. I rolled my eyes and shook my head. She caught me doing it, and proceeded to give me the riot act on how she is entitled to breastfeed where she chooses.

Needless to say I let her have her rant . . .she obviously had bigger issues.

Perhaps I am judgemental because I don’t have any kids of my own, and that I have never experienced the miracle of birth first hand. Maybe you could even call me a prude, I just don’t see why I have to be subjected to tit sucking at every turn of the mall.

What is your thoughts on breast feeding in public??




****UPDATE**** April 12, 2007 

Investigation starts into case of mom kicked off airplane

MANCHESTER — After months of deliberation, the Vermont Human Rights Commission has denied a motion by Delta and Freedom Air Lines to dismiss a complaint filed by a woman who was kicked off a flight awaiting departure from Burlington for breastfeeding her 22-month-old son. The decision, issued last Thursday in the form of a letter from VHRC Executive Director Robert Appel to a representative for Freedom Airlines, is a welcome development for the complainant, 27-year-old Emily Gillette of Santa Fe, New Mexico.

“I think they made the right decision … I feel really pleased about it,” said Gillette, speaking by phone from Santa Fe, Monday. “It feels good to be validated by the state.”

Gillette is not suing the airlines. Instead, as she phrases it, “the state of Vermont is taking up the responsibility of upholding their own laws,” which Gillette claims were violated Oct. 13, when a Freedom Airlines flight attendant ordered Gillette off a plane departing from Burlington for publicly breastfeeding.

According to Vermont state statutes, a woman’s right to breastfeed in public is protected by law, the main reason cited by VHRC in its rejection of Delta

and Freedom’s request to throw out Gillette’s allegations against them. For their part, Delta and Freedom Airlines had argued that federal preemption law prevents a state from asserting a state civil rights claim. However, in its denial of the airlines’ request, VHRC cited federal and Vermont Supreme Court cases that demonstrate otherwise.

Appel refused Monday to confirm or deny his issuance of the letter informing Freedom Airlines of the commission’s decision, saying, “all matters brought before the HRC are confidential and cannot be discussed until an agreement has taken place.”

He did outline the next step of the process for the parties involved.

Negotiations fail

Since Gillette and Delta and Freedom Airlines had failed to solve the issue through negotiation, an investigation will now commence that may involve requests for documents and a review of any and all materials submitted by both parties relating to the incident in question.

Once an investigative report is given to both parties, according to Appel, both parties have the right to respond to the report within 10 days of receiving it. Both parties also have the right to appear before the commission to make a brief oral presentation.

If, after this, the commissioners decide that there are reasonable grounds to believe that unlawful discrimination occurred, the case will be transferred to the executive director, who will attempt to bring both parties to accept a settlement. If a settlement cannot be reached within six months, the commissioners will decide whether to close the case or take it to court, either in Montpelier or the court in the county in which the alleged incident took place.

Gillette’s lawyer, Elizabeth Boepple of Manchester, was pleased by news of the VHRC’s decision to uphold Gillette’s complaint. “What it means is we can now proceed,” said Boepple, who was also impressed by the solid defense of Gillette’s complaint provided by VHRC.

Manchester lawyer

“What I appreciated about the analysis was that … the Vermont Supreme Court has made clear how preemption interplays with Vermont’s law,” said Boepple. “It’s a well-reasoned and very solid denial.”

“We hope that this will be an encouragement for the airline to recognize that they need to pay some attention to this case,” Boepple added.

For her part, Gillette feels fortunate to have the support of VHRC.

“It’s scary to be up against giants,” said Gillette, who added that, despite the wave of media attention that followed her ouster from a Freedom Airlines plane, she feels happy and perhaps like a better person.

“It’s made me a more active person,” Gillette said. “I feel like a more connected person, at least to one social movement.”

Representatives for Delta and Freedom Airlines could not be reached for comment.