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Jordan boxer forgoes tournament competition so that she can wear the hijab

Jordan boxer forgoes tournament competition so that she can wear the hijab

Baraa Al-Absi hopes to be able to box internationally. She's won a spot on Jordan's national women's boxing team. and wants to pursue a professional career.

Boxing rules don't allow women to fight wearing the Islamic headscarf known as the hijab. Like many Muslims, she wears the hijab for religious reasons and rather than take it off for a tournament, she quits. "It's a sad feeling and hard for me to be nothing but a spectator," she told CNN. "It really hurts. This was my team and now I'm not part of it."

The Switzerland-based International Boxing Association recently allowed women boxers to choose between skirts and shorts. The hijab is still banned.

"I'm sad for her," Al-Absi's coach, Ayman Al-Nadi said. "She has the power, the talent, her parents' support. Everyone wanted her to achieve something. It's unjust."

Al-Absi thinks the rules will eventually be changed.

In another hijab story, Reuters reports that a female Saudi fighter will take part in the Olympic judo competition after being allowed to wear an Islamic headscarf.


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About D. Beeksma

One of the growing crowd of American "nones" herself, Deborah is a prolific writer who finds religion, spirituality and the impact of belief (and non-belief) on culture inspiring, fascinating and at times, disturbing. She hosts the God Discussion show and handles the site's technical work. Her education and background is in business, ecommerce and law.
  • http://www.houseofbetazed.com Mriana

    I think it's sad when women allow religious beliefs to get in the way of their dreams, but on the other hand, her hajab doesn't seem to get in the way of her boxing, so there shouldn't be any reason why she can't wear it. I think everyone should be able to wear what they are comfortable in when it comes to sports, whether it is shorts and a t-shirt or a hajab.

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