CAIR tries but fails to strong-arm International Basketball Federation (FIBA) into allowing Muslim women to play wearing headbags

Indira-KaljoThe fact that this Muslim woman, Indira Kaljo, had no problem playing women’s basketball for 4 years at her college, Tulane University, and professionally in Europe for 2 years without wearing a headbag, must have had something to do with the decision.

CAIR  Muslim Brotherhood front group CAIR today repeated its request that the Switzerland-based International Basketball Federation (FIBA) change its rule banning Muslim women athletes from wearing Islamic head scarves, or hijab.

Indira Kaljo

Indira Kaljo

Indira Kaljo of Los Angeles, Calif., told CAIR that she is seeking a professional contract in Europe, where she already played for two years before deciding to wear hijab. The 26-year-old native of Bosnia says that FIBA’s ban on hijab is discriminatory and that players of other faiths do wear religious symbols and attire similar to the Islamic scarf.

CAIR’s second request in as many weeks came after a California Muslim athlete reported that she is being denied a professional career at the international level by the hijab ban.

Indira Kaljo #33

Indira Kaljo #33

The first request followed reports that Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir, an American Muslim woman who wears an Islamic head scarf (hijab), is unable to pursue a professional career as a basketball player at the international level due to Article 4.4.2 of the FIBA Official Basketball Rules banning “headgear.”

Indira Kaljo #33

Indira Kaljo #33

CAIR sent a letter to FIBA President Yvan Mainini, which stated in part:

“No athlete should be forced to choose between faith and sport. Muslim women seek to participate in sporting activities should not face artificial and arbitrary barriers to that participation.”

CAIR asked that FIBA’s Technical Commission meet as soon as possible to discuss changing this discriminatory rule to allow athletes of all faiths, to compete while maintaining religious principles.

Indira is #33 here: