Bosnian Muslim Basketball player rejoices at lifting hijab ban

Bosnian Muslim Basketball player rejoices at lifting hijab ban

Rejoicing the decision to end hijab ban for basketball players, a Bosnian Muslim player has expressed happiness after receiving approval from the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) to don her hijab during matches.

Rejoicing the decision to end hijab ban for basketball players, a Bosnian Muslim player has expressed happiness after receiving approval from the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) to don her hijab during matches.

"I am very happy. I have always fought for what I believe is right,” Bosnian professional basketball player Indira Kaljo said on Wednesday.

Kaljo made her comments during her visit to the Turkish capital Istanbul, where she represents Saudi Arabia's female basketball team Jeddah United.

The 27-year-old player was among two female Muslims who called on FIBA, last August, to revoke the imposed hijab ban during matches.

“Two years ago, I decided to wear a headscarf. It was a personal decision, yet many people were against it at first. I was enjoying a good position in my career,” Kaljo said, adding that FIBA did not allow female and male players to wear headwear.

“A while later, I followed my heart and decided to wear a headscarf. I know being on the road to Allah would make me happy."

Offering a new hope for scores of veiled Muslim players, the world’s basketball body amended last September its rules to allow Islamic headscarf or hijab during official competitions on a trial basis, a decision welcomed by Muslim athletes.

"I either would fight to protect women's rights or retire. I always struggle for what I believe in and started a campaign to lift this ban on the Internet,” Kaljo said.

“We collected 70,000 signatures from women and men, either Muslim or not. The United States Olympic Committee applied to FIBA to lift the headscarf ban."

Before September, Islamic headscarf or hijab was banned in FIBA matches. The ban was justified by FIBA as a way to remain religiously neutral.

The Muslim player supports Stars of Basketball Hoop Project at Avcılar İmam-Hatip High School which includes 24 female students playing basketball.




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