End Discriminatory Rule Against Muslim Hijabi Athletes

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On September 15, a ninth grade volleyball player in Nashville, TN, Najah Aqeel, was disqualified from a match for wearing a hijab. At the match, the referee referenced the National Federation of State High School Association (NFHS) Volleyball Case Book and Officials Manuel to disqualify the student from the match because she needed 'authorization from the state association to wear the hijab' for religious reasons. 

“All I want to do is play volleyball and my religion should never be a topic nor how I practice it!” Najah Aqeel protested.

Muslim girls, who want to follow their constitutionally protected right, should not have an extra barrier to fully participate in sports in Tennessee. This rule was used to humiliate a 14 year old student in front of her peers. Religious barriers to playing sports should not exist in this day and age. This rule is akin to telling Muslim girls that they need permission to be a Muslim.

The American Muslim Advisory Council demands that the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association (TSSAA), which chose to adopt the NFHS rules, revoke this rule since it discriminates against Muslim girls on the basis of religion and gender.  The TSSAA should ensure that students of all religious backgrounds in Tennessee have equal access to sports without discriminatory barriers to their full participation.