Ironically, it was the school’s lesbian athletic director behind the purchases. Source: Deering High may be first U.S. school to offer athletic hijabs – Portland Press Herald
This spring, Deering apparently became the first school in the nation to outfit athletes with hijabs designed for physical activity – a move athletic director Melanie Craig hopes will encourage more Muslim girls to play sports.
Athletes have long struggled to compete in their traditional hijabs – the headscarves worn in public by many Muslim girls and women to reflect devotion to their faith. Traditional headscarves are often thick and prone to unraveling, but sports hijabs are made from lightweight, sweat-wicking mesh and designed to pull on rather than wrap around to stay in place.
“You often see them flipping a scarf over their shoulder while they’re trying to get the ball,” Craig said of traditional hijabs. “We pride ourselves in celebrating our diversity, but this has really been a challenge for my female Muslim student-athletes.”
Hijabi athletes are now being recognized on the largest of stages. Last summer, Ibtihaj Muhammad – a saber fencer from New Jersey – became the first American to compete at the Olympic Games while wearing a hijab, earning a bronze medal. Earlier this month, the International Basketball Federation, or FIBA, overturned a ban on religious headgear. FIFA, the international soccer organization, lifted its ban on head coverings in 2014.
“If I’m going to buy a football helmet,” Craig said, “I’m going to buy a hijab.”
[Illogical leftist statement – will she buy crucifixes for Catholics? Kippahs for Jews? Kirpans for Sikhs?]
The sports hijabs also are helping to foster a greater sense of inclusivity in a social climate where Muslims have been targeted. There was a 44 percent increase in anti-Muslim hate crimes in America from 2015 to 2016, according to the Council on American-Islamic Relations – the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization.
[More leftist diatribe. Muslims killed or injured more Americans from 2015 to 2016 than any time since 9/11 but the media fails to mention that.]
Deering lacrosse player Sulwan Ahmed said teachers and administrators have started taking extra steps this year to make sure Muslim students feel “safe, secure and valued.
“I feel like, within the Muslim community and communities of color, we weren’t really heard before. Now our teachers are listening to us. Deering is actually taking in what we’re saying and taking action.”
[Always the victims.]
Deering is part of the Portland Public Schools district – the most diverse in Maine. About one-third of the district’s students speak a primary language other than English. However, the number of Muslim students who attend Deering is unknown. Portland Public Schools does not collect data on student religious beliefs, nor does the Maine Department of Education.
Reza Jalali, a professor at the University of Southern Maine, estimates that there are about 8,000 Muslims in Maine. He called Deering’s sports hijabs a “milestone” and “testimony to the changing landscape in Maine” – the country’s whitest state, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
[The Islamization of Maine, and the U.S.]
Ten of the sports hijabs are in use by Deering athletes involved in tennis, lacrosse and track. They will be issued at the beginning of every season and collected afterward, as with any other uniform. Athletes have the option of choosing among black, white and purple – Deering’s school colors. Craig said she hopes to eventually customize the hijabs with the letter “D.”
Craig purchased 25 sports hijabs for $45 apiece from ASIYA – a Minnesota company that specializes in modest active wear. While Nike has unveiled plans to release an athletic hijab next spring, ASIYA remains the only one in the United States to offer the product, which became available for purchase in March.
“They (Deering) are the first school in the U.S. to have ordered hijabs from us on behalf of their athletes,” ASIYA co-founder Jamie Glover said. “For us, that’s super exciting because we do see this as just another part of the uniform – another piece of equipment that we feel athletes need to be able to play.”
[More non-sense, the hijab is not a piece of equipment.]
Nike’s promotion of its upcoming Pro Hijab brought the topic to light at Deering. After spotting an ad for the product, girls’ tennis co-captains Liva Pierce and Anaise Manikunda created a GoFundMe campaign to help Deering buy sports hijabs. They shared the link on social media and quickly raised $425 – almost doubling their original goal of $250. Craig said the rest of the money for the hijabs – about $700 – came from an anonymous donation.
Neither Pierce nor Manikunda is Muslim, but three of their teammates wear hijabs. One of them is Kadhim, who moved to the United States from Jordan four years ago. She said her sports-loving family shared her excitement, and her surprise, over the sports hijabs.
“I feel so happy and glad that we’re a diverse and inclusive team and that they actually care about me,” Kadhim said. “At first, I felt like they did not care about me and, actually, they did. I love my team.”
[Like most supposed anti-Muslim hate crimes, they are fake. Kadhim’s feelings are based on her own anti-American prejudice.]
As for the athletic director, she’s no stranger to controversy. As Deering athletic director, Melanie Craig broke policy by using school stationery to praise her wife’s clinic. She was not punished for the violation.
Would Kadhim’s family welcome Craig and her wife to their home, their mosque, their native Jordan?