US Muslim female player happy after ban removed on wearing headscarves in basketball

2015-08-26 00:45:27 | Al Muslim News
US Muslim female player happy after ban removed on wearing headscarves in basketball
Indira Kaljo, 27 years old US-Bosnian Muslim basketball player

 

Growing up in the U.S., Bosnian professional basketball player Indira Kaljo, 27, said after she has successfully received approval from FIBA to wear her headscarf during play. "I am very happy," she said. "I have always fought for what I believe is right." 

Kaljo started playing basketball in America at the age of nine. My love for the game has allowed me the chance to get an education at Tulane University and to play professional basketball overseas, she said. Playing in Saudi Arabia's female basketball team Jeddah United, the Muslim player came to Istanbul after receiving an invitation, Daily Sabah reported.

Speaking to Doğan Agency News, Kaljo said she was happy to be in Turkey and Istanbul. She said that she played without a headscarf for a long time, and almost all of her basketball playing career. "Two years ago, I decided to wear a headscarf. It was a personal decision, yet many people were against it at first. I was enjoying a good position in my career. 

A while later, I followed my heart and decided to wear a headscarf. I know being on the road to Allah would make me happy," she said, adding that FIBA did not allow female and male players to wear headwear.

I recently decided to wear a hijab full-time because I am so profoundly in touch with my faith at this point in my life. Unfortunately, I became very disheartened after learning that the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) bans the usage of head covering during competition, she said in her campaign “Remove ban on wearing head scarf during competition” on change.org

"I either would fight to protect women's rights or retire. I always struggle for what I believe in and started a campaign to lift this ban on the Internet. We collected 70,000 signatures from women and men, either Muslim or not. The United States Olympic Committee applied to FIBA to lift the headscarf ban," Kaljo said. Two month later, FIBA allowed both male and female players to play with headwear. "This month, we celebrate the first anniversary of this decision. Being in Istanbul and doing activities make me feel different. We can see players wearing headscarves from now on and in the future. It is very pleasing," she concluded. 

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Tags: #Hijab #Head-scarf #

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