Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Teen Soccer Referee Expelled for Wearing Hijab in Quebec

Several media outlets have reported the recent story of a Quebec girl forced to quit her volunteer position as a soccer referee due to a Quebec soccer federation/FIFA rule prohibiting hijabs on the field. The decision has been defended as necessary due to a general rule prohibiting participants from displaying commercial, political, and religious messages.

In my opinion, this decision is unwarranted and discriminatory. A reasonable accommodation could easily be made in this case to allow this girl and other young Muslim females to enjoy soccer without being forced to choose between it and their sincere religious beliefs. To my mind, FIFA's interest in enforcing common attire rules is outweighed by society's interest in fostering religious inclusion, much like Sikh members of the RCMP are allowed to wear turbans while on duty.I don't know if public accommodation laws are applicable to this soccer federation, but if so, this girl would seem to have a strong claim.

No comments:

Post a Comment