Muslim Athlete Disqualified Over Uniform

Another stupid act by some school over a Muslim girl’s choice of clothes…

… Juashaunna Kelly, a senior at the District of Columbia’s Theodore Roosevelt High School, has the fastest mile and 2-mile times of any girl runner in the city this winter. She was disqualified from Saturday’s Montgomery Invitational indoor track and field meet.

Kelly was wearing the same uniform she has worn for three seasons while running for Theodore Roosevelt’s cross-country and track teams. The custom-made, one-piece blue and orange unitard covers her head, arms, torso and legs. Over the unitard, she wears the same orange and blue T-shirt and shorts as her teammates.

The outfit allows her to compete while adhering to her Muslim faith…

[…]

[M]eet director Tom Rogers said Kelly’s uniform violated rules of the National Federation of State High School Associations, which sanctioned the event. Uniforms are required to be “a single-solid color and unadorned, except for a single school name or insignia no more than 2 1/4 inches,” he said.

[Source: Yahoo! News]

Flexibility, Freedom, Respect, Understanding… These are all words that seem to be missing from these people’s dictionaries and vocabularies.

Such a big fuss over some non-issue. Just be and let be for God’s sake.

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MMM

Mohamed Marwen Meddah is a web development director, amateur photographer and web enthusiast from Tunisia, currently living in Canada.

10 thoughts on “Muslim Athlete Disqualified Over Uniform”

  1. The outfit allows her to compete while adhering to her Muslim faith, which forbids displaying any skin other than her face and hands.

    That’s a lie, isn’t it? Where in Islamic scripture does it state that Muslim women are forbidden from showing any skin except their face and hands?

    There is no picture and no background information, but I am going to assume that Juashaunna Kelly is “Nation of Islam”, which I think most Muslims would not consider to be the same thing as Islam, and more than Christians consider Mormons to be Christian. So what’s your stake in this? It seems to me to be an American issue, for Americans to resolve, as Americans see fit. And here in the US, our concept of “religious freedom” means that nobody gets special treatment due to their religion. We all are treated the same. It’s a basic concept of equality. Maybe they should have made an exception in her case, but as soon as the first person objected to her attire (which is what I assume happened, probably one of the other coaches objected to eliminate the competition) they would have been required to enforce the rules.

  2. PS-If you want to make a case for religious discrimination in the US, look for instances where Muslims are singled out and treated differently than non-Muslims. That’s unequal treatment, and it’s a violation of civil rights laws.

  3. Craig, I believe you got the whole thing misunderstood. MMM is not making this a a “case for religious discrimination in the US” he’s stating the fact that there is indeed discrimination against Muslims, let it be the US, Europe or elsewhere and it is not acceptable especially in countries claiming freedom of expression and interfering in the affairs of our part of the world to implement “democracy” and promote “co-existence”.

    Now back to the post itself, I guess your knowledge of Islam is quite fine but not really enough to claim Muslims are lying and stating rules of their own concerning Muslim clothing.

    You say: “And here in the US, our concept of “religious freedom” means that nobody gets special treatment due to their religion. We all are treated the same. It’s a basic concept of equality.”
    What’s the special treatment you’re talking about? just because her uniform covers her whole body and hair does not mean she’s seeking special treatment!!!
    If she asked anyone to be easy on her, sympathize with her, or whatever, then she’s asking to be treated differently, all she did was ask for her right to perform wearing what she’s comfortable with,which, by the way, doesn’t have anything to offend or affect anyone. I mean come on, anyone with sun-allergies would wear that and would simply get away with it!

    But as you said, it’s in the US and Americans should do whatever they see fit in their country.. but in that case PLEASE don’t claim that you are to teach us what freedom is all about, and please do not interfere in our own business either!

  4. From reading the post it would appear that the objection is because the outfit violates the only one colour ‘Uniforms are required to be “a single-solid color and unadorned, except for a single school name or insignia no more than 2 1/4 inches,” he said.’ – her outfit is described at blue and orange. So, nothing to do with being a Muslim.

  5. Christine, that’s right, this is what they claimed to be wrong only this year. I read the whole article MMM provided the link for and it turns out they’ve been making up excuses, the “a single-solid color and unadorned, except for a single school name or insignia no more than 2 1/4 inches,” is only the last excuse they come up with.
    In the article it says:
    “First, they said she had to take her hood off,” Sarah Kelly said. “Then, they said she can’t have anything with logos displayed. Then, they said she had to turn it inside out. When I told them that there weren’t any logos on it, they said she had to put a plain white T-shirt on over it.”
    Juashaunna Kelly has worn the same uniform for three years without any problems, including at last year’s Montgomery Invitational. Rogers said officials must have missed the uniform last year.

    “It wasn’t a problem last year, and it’s a problem this year? Make me understand why,” Bowden said.

  6. Eman,

    Craig, I believe you got the whole thing misunderstood. MMM is not making this a a “case for religious discrimination in the US” he’s stating the fact that there is indeed discrimination against Muslims

    So he’s asserting something as fact, without “making a case” and presenting any evidence? Is that what you mean by this statement? If do, do you find that to be acceptable? Do you accept things as fact just because somebody says they are?

    Now back to the post itself, I guess your knowledge of Islam is quite fine but not really enough to claim Muslims are lying and stating rules of their own concerning Muslim clothing.

    Again, you say I’m wrong when I say there is nothing in Islam that forbids women from showing any skin expect their face and hands, but you give no evidence to prove me wrong.

    Now let me ask you, do you consider Nation of Islam to be Islam? I suggest you do a little investigation into what Nation of Islam is, before you answer.

    What’s the special treatment you’re talking about? just because her uniform covers her whole body and hair does not mean she’s seeking special treatment!!!

    If she is permitted to wear a uniform that doesn’t comply with the established rules, that is special treatment.

    all she did was ask for her right to perform wearing what she’s comfortable with,which, by the way, doesn’t have anything to offend or affect anyone.

    She doesn’t have any such “right”. Nobody does. People who compete in team sports are required to wear the school uniform. They are required to comply with the rules of play. So on and so forth.

    I mean come on, anyone with sun-allergies would wear that and would simply get away with it!

    No, I don’t think so. I actually ran track and cross-country when I was in high school, and not only do I not recall anyone who was a hardcore competitive athlete having “sun allergies” but I don’t recall anyone being allowed to violate the rules, either. Coaches just LOVE excuses to disqualify the other team’s members.

    But as you said, it’s in the US and Americans should do whatever they see fit in their country.. but in that case PLEASE don’t claim that you are to teach us what freedom is all about, and please do not interfere in our own business either!

    Hey, I’d have been in support of this post if there was a civil rights violation here. But all I see is a politically motivated and baseless attack on the US.

  7. Well first of all, I want to clarify something, I’m in no way attacking the US in this post. The school could have been anywhere in the world and I’d have written the same post.
    I’m only against the decision to disqualify the girl over something she’s wearing because of a belief of hers.

    What I think of the Nation of Islam doesn’t really matter in the context of this story; Let’s even forget that the religion is Islam; let’s just look at it this way: This girl believes in something because of her religion, nobody had a problem with it for years, and now they just start going on about the uniform, how she should wear a white t-shirt over it, …etc.
    If there’s a problem with the uniform, why didn’t they bring it up before? At least if they did from the beginning, it’d be obvious that it’s a law that everyone has to respect; but if the law was flexible for 3 seasons, why apply it now?

  8. if the law was flexible for 3 seasons, why apply it now?

    Because at some point they have to stop being so flexible and enforce the principle that no contestant is allowed privileges over another. The student did mention the belief that the headgear gave her a speed advantage, but for a Muslim that was understandable. It was the ADDITIONAL privilege of two colors that riled people. It’s intimidating to contestants: “Why should I compete when this girl is getting all the breaks?”

    After 3 years, it must have been clear that the student and her coach were fully cognizant yet had no intention of complying with the rules. Only when the student had been disqualified did the coach mouth “Religion!” as the reason.

    I blame the coach. He should have known what this would lead to, eventually. His student had to suffer for his failing. All too often, that’s the way it is.

    And yet, this girl had teammates who wore the same color scheme. Did they share her fate or not? Was this girl singled out solely because she was the best and the only Muslim?

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