16-year-old Muslim wins right to box while wearing hijab

16-year-old boxer, Amaiya Zafar from Minnesota can now compete in boxing matches and tournaments while wearing her hijab.

The teen was previously barred from competing because of USA Boxing’s religious head covering rule. The Council of American Islamic Relations (CAIR) on Thursday announced that USA Boxing has provided an exemption for Zafar.

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The exemption means she can now box in matches while wearing a headscarf, leggings and long sleeves to comply with her religious beliefs. Previously, the mandate required her to wear a sleeveless jersey and shorts that don’t go below the knees.

“This is a big step,” Nathaniel Haile, Zafar’s coach, told the Minnesota Star Tribune. “She’s put a lot of labour into this. She earned the right to showcase her skills, and I’m happy for her. But it’s just the first step in letting her achieve her dreams.”

Last year, Zafar went to Florida for a fight but was told she couldn’t wear her hijab, leggings or long sleeves. But now, after her legal fight, Zafar is relieved and ready to start competing.

“I’m ready,” Zafar told the Star Tribune. “You get so invested. My weight is in the right place. My head is in the game.”

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PHOTO: FACEBOOK

PHOTO: FACEBOOK

While Zafar can compete in tournaments across the country, the teen has her eyes set on the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. For that, she would have to persuade the international boxing organisation, the AIBA, to allow her to box in her attire of choice. They currently have a ban on religious attire.

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CAIR is helping Zafar in her international battle.

“We welcome this partial victory and look forward to the day when athletes of all faiths may compete nationally and internationally while maintaining their religious principles,” CAIR communications director Ibrahim Hooper said in a statement.

This story originally appeared on Minnesota Star Tribune

The post 16-year-old Muslim wins right to box while wearing hijab appeared first on The Express Tribune.

16-year-old Muslim wins right to box while wearing hijab

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16-year-old Muslim wins right to box while wearing hijab

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