It was suppose to be a competitive day of good sportsmanship, but unfortunately, things didn’t exactly go as planned. According to Metro, ISNA Private Islamic High School competed against Robert F Hall Catholic School in a game of soccer in Caledon, Canada. The first half was played like any other game even though the Muslim football team was trailing 3-1. But, everything changed at half-time.
The Muslim team informed the referee that they would not be playing the second half. The reason? Apparently, the Catholic school has two girls on the soccer team’s roster. When Carla Briscoe and another girl entered the game, the Islamic football team — which consists of only Muslim boys — no longer felt comfortable playing the game.
As a result of the controversial request, the girls made the ultimate sacrifice for their team and opted to sit out the rest of the game. Although the Catholic school won the game 6-1, the victory was bittersweet for Briscoe and her female teammate. During a recent interview with City News, Briscoe voiced her frustrations over the disheartening ordeal.
“I was upset, I just didn’t feel like I had finally made the progress to be on the team,” Briscoe said.
However, Essa Abdool-Karim, the ISNA Private Islamic High School soccer coach, argues a different perspective. He insists his team was unaware girls were even allowed to play, although the official rules reportedly states that it is permissible. Due to religious preferences, he also stated that they do not condone “free mixing.”
“Free mixing is generally something we do not do, more so out of respect than anything. We want them to understand this balance between religion and having to sacrifice the sport you love is a difficult situation.”
The school board has even decided to incorporate new rules that will cater to religious preferences in an effort to avoid similar mishaps and disagreements in the future. The controversial directive has sparked outrage. Many readers feel the Muslims are attempting to force their beliefs on others.
Here are some of the comments:
“Well, the Muslim team needs to be expelled from the competition then. No one should get higher rights. It is NOT a case of ‘religious freedom’ as that freedom cannot inhibit on others freedom, if you want to play, play by all the rules. They do not have the right to get to say who can play because of their religious freedom… What if they simply said they won’t play with non-Muslims?… ”
“Intolerable. Shame on the head coach of the team the girls belong to. Funny how the Islamic team play on but the girls are asked to sit out. Isn’t this prejudice or don’t the females matter?”
“Yet again another case of Muslims wanting their own way again. This has to STOP. Play by the countries rules that you are in, or LEAVE.”
What do you think about the female soccer players having to sit out of the game? Share your thoughts.
[Image via YouTube Screen Capture]