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Young Muslim Leads Hijab Campaign to Break Down Barriers

Leading a successful campaign to allow Muslim girls to wear sports hijab during PE lessons, a young Muslim student from Lancashire hopes her campaign will break barriers from more Muslims to join sport.

Umme Kalsoom, a 16-year-old student in Burnley, Lancashire, started the campaign after she felt “vulnerable” when expected to take off her hijab while playing sport at her school.

“I did it to bring comfort to myself and the other girls” she said, BBC reported.

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The young Muslim was struck by the attention her campaign achieved, adding: “I didn’t know it would go this far.”

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As the school has since changed its policy, Umme Kalsoom hopes her campaign will have a nationwide impact.

“(The hijab) makes me feel like myself,” she said. “Taking it off to do something I love didn’t enable me to feel my full self and I lacked confidence without it.”

Contacted by other Muslim girls seeking advice, she hoped her campaign would “break down the barriers for girls to play football everywhere they exist”.

She described football as “really inclusive and really powerful because you play with people with different abilities and from different backgrounds, so it brings people together and it makes them more confident.”

Islam sees hijab as an obligatory code of dress, not a religious symbol displaying one’s affiliations.

Several religious, cultural, and ethnic factors determine Muslims’ approach to sport.

In general, Islam promotes good health and fitness and encourages both men and women to engage in physical activity to maintain healthy lifestyles.