WINNIPEG, Manitoba – A hijabi Muslim basketballer in Winnipeg’s Dakota Collegiate has inspired a new light-weight, versatile hijab, hoping it would encourage more Muslim girls to participate in sports.
“With the help of my principal and my coaches we decided to come up with this idea and create this alternative for what Muslim women can wear without being uncomfortable,” Amina Mohamed, who is now a student at the University of Manitoba, told CBC.
The idea of the versatile hijab came to Mohamed when a referee thought the hijab she was wearing might be unsafe because of the pin fastening it.
Dakota principal Jill Mathez said the decision was made to look for alternatives to encourage all students to participate in sports.
“I think what we try to do at Dakota is make sure that we remove barriers. This was one of the things we looked at that made sense,” she said.
The process of choosing the right hijab took about six months, making up their minds finally to choose the one based in Minneapolis.
Dakota Collegiate is the second school in Canada to provide the headwear and the first with a customized logo on it, Mathez said.
The new hijab will be provided for all of the school’s athletes who would like one, including Mohamed’s younger sister, Nusaybah, who is in Grade 11.
Nusaybah said she’s proud of what her older sister did for her and other Muslim athletes.
“I feel like it will encourage people to want to play sports more knowing that there is something for them,” she said.
Islam sees hijab as an obligatory code of dress, not a religious symbol displaying one’s affiliations.