Posts tagged Muslim
Posts tagged Muslim
The barriers that have kept some Muslim women from participating in organized sports are finally crumbling in Canada
Best Health Magazine did a feature of Canadian Muslim Women and Fitness. I was interviewed for it.
‘Anonymous’ Muslim women
I just love this.
So here is this image by a German artist named Nabi Nara.
I have no idea what the hell the other pictures are trying to say and I don’t really care.
I am not interested in politicizing, ostracizing or sexualizing a s/he discussion on burqas.
However, I do like this *specfic* image. Whether or not it’s a part of a larger exhibit, I am not sure.
But it resonates with me.
It reinforces that whatever someone appears to be - don’t be misled. They may be able to school you on the pitch.
To think that a woman may not be interested in sports, art or music because of her customs, beliefs or whether she is (un)veiled is absurd and ignorant.
She can smash assumptions.
I don’t wear a burqa but I am confident that I can keep up or beat a lot of people. The same people who look at me and assume because I am a woman of colour, a mother and a wife -wearing a headscarf- that *I* can’t play.
So will my daughter.
Football is for all of us.
Fitzroy restaurant so impressed with champion boxer’s story that they flew her out for a training session with their staff.
Wow. An “Islamic woman boxer”.
As opposed to a woman boxer.
And a boxer.
She is fierce nonetheless.
And maybe one day will be known as simply an athlete. Without regard or attention to her race, religion or gender.
Ollies common in Kabul.
Amazing photograph. Just amazing.
(Photo: Massoud Hossaini / AFP-Getty via The Guardian)
My friend emailed this me and just MADE MY DAY.
A group of intrepid Muslimah athletes are running a half marathon (221 K) to raise money for a special youth centre in Ottawa, Ontario.
They are amazing ambassadors for Athleticism and Humanity.
May their sweat reap bountiful rewards.
So excited about this.
Not to mention the video is incredible.
Please share and support their noble efforts.
Sport is for all of us.
“Team 21-K-$21K consists of a group of Muslim women who are training to run a half-marathon on May 11, 2013. Their goal is to promote healthy and active lifestyles through the spirit of sport, and to help establish a youth centre in Ottawa, Ontario. They hope that the youth centre will be an ideal place to promote balanced lifestyles through nurturing the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of youth today.”
Please donate generously at www.21k421k.org
“I am a warrior, I was born a warrior and I will die like a warrior.” - Maria Toor Pakay
Link to article about Maria and her squash career written by my friend Samar Esapzai.
I wanted to post this in English but the translation app ended up with “Afghan Girls Shower Contest”.
So much Lost in Translation.
Pictures are formidable nonetheless.
Full article on marathon for social justice: http://www.dw.de/afghans-marathon-efforts-to-fight-corruption/a-16632624
Like the rest of the world, I was shocked and horrified when I heard (via Twitter) about the explosions at the finish line of the Boston Marathon.
I was so stressed and immediately thought about my dear family and friends in the area. Despite warnings that cellular service was shut down I immediately started texting and calling them.
Because they are so wonderful and caring they all replied within minutes to assure me that they were safe.
My younger cousin, absolutely dashing and charming fellow whom I adore, works in downtown Boston. I called my Aunt frantically to ask about all of them. By the Grace of God Almighty, my cousin was sick today. And he stayed home. I have never been more thankful for a flu and fever of a family member.
I was waiting to hear back from another friend living in the area but then I was reminded she was in Mexico.
A very close friend messaged me back to also let me know she was OK.I didn’t expect a long conversation and was so, so relieved she and her family were alright.
She had been downtown with her sister and sisters children.
Over 500, 000 spectators and volunteers assemble to watch the magnificent annual race.
I thought about the kids. I thought about when my children come to cheer me on when I run a local marathon (10k) every year. They stand with signs and banners and scream my name as I push towards the end.
To my horror, my blackberry started going crazy when a few members of my football team started emailing to inquire about Chris.
Out teammate was running in Boston.
I texted her and her husband not expecting any reply.
It was the longest 6 minutes I have experiences in eons.
Rich texted back to say Chris was running, just finished when the bomb exploded and they they are “trying to get out of Boston”.
I thanked him and just said “Be safe”.
I started shaking uncontrollably.
Their daughter plays basketball with mine.We have spent countless hours together. Chris and I play together. She is my teammate and my friend.
She texted me as well about 30 minutes later to say “Hi. We are both good. I felt the first bomb in my chest. it was so powerful. thanks for thinking of us”.
I sent out a short message to the rest of my team. I exhaled. Then I went numb.
It hit me how close she was to being hurt. WHY would someone do this?
Then I got angry. I was furious. WHO DOES THIS?
These people are athletes FOR GOD’S SAKE! They come with no political agenda. No motive. They are dedicated; work and sweat for this event.
They are surrounded by family, friends, supporters, trainers, tireless volunteers and event staff.
The incredible athletes and runners committing to 46k of arduous athletic activity.
They have trained for months; physically, mentally and emotionally.
They are drained and just exhausted at the end.
And they are met with explosions. Fire. Fear. Chaos. Injury.
WHO DOES THIS?
An eight-year old child is one of the two reported dead today. Over One hundred people injured and thousands traumatized.
Some of the runners were participating to honour the victims of the Newtown School Massacre.
I had no words.
WHO DOES THIS?
Then I stopped. I knew who would be blamed: Muslims, Arabs and People of Colour who could be incorrectly identified as Muslims.
People that could be identified and suspected to be “terrorists.”
“Terrorists” is a specific group of selected races, who will suffer, be discriminated against even though there is no concrete explanation or idea why or who did this.
I said to myself along with thousands of other people: “Please don’t be Muslim”.
Same reason I hesitate wear a weighted vest when I train outdoors.
Because I am a South Asian, Woman of Colour who chooses to wear hijab.
Same reason my husband is routinely stopped at the border.
He’s lived all of his years (but two) in this country as a law-abiding and full participant in Canadian society and he has a beard and kufi.
We both fit the fearmongeror, racist and ignorant description of “terrorist”.
We are not.
But we will be judged.
So will our community.
So many of my friends, teachers, scholars have already tweeted, facebooked messages of support and prayers for the victims and their families.
Worst part is as a Muslim, runner and athlete although I am furious and devastated by this tragedy I will not be surprised when hate is flung my way; my community’s way.
We are programmed to feel responsible and apologize for the heinous crimes of those who do not share our values and opinions.
One of my friends wrote on his facebook regarding the suspect(s) being Muslim or not : “Does it matter? If it turns out to be a Muslim, then Islamophobes will basically have an “aha!” moment, and if it’s not a Muslim, then pundits will spend countless hours trying to figure out what kind of deep psychological disorder would lead a person to commit an act so barbaric that they might as well be a Muslim.”
It feels so frustrating that it may be a ‘lose-lose’ situation. For innocent people, for different communities and for sport.
There are also people who remind us of similar atrocities around the world. Today in Iraq a bomb killed 42 people.
When we read comments such as “This happens in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and Palestine all the time” it is not to diminish the severity and loss of this act of violence.
For me it is a cognizance that I am privileged. I am strong enough and able to say that this is wrong. And I want no part of this violence identifying me, my family and my beliefs.
Also a reminder that Muslims have acts of terror committed against them.
Muslim also run marathons.
I am constantly reminded how lucky I am to be able to play football freely, to run publicly without fear of danger.
I am so grateful so be safe.
The stress and anxiety I felt trying to contact friends today was unbearable.
To live in that stress all the time is unimaginable.
And it happens to many innocent people around the world. Daily.
The Boston Marathon is an event that should inspire people. That united people of different religions and races together.
They are vulnerable, terrified and in shock.
Bostonians are warm-hearted, generous and kind. They have opened their homes and offered to help in any way possible. Shelters, places of worship and crisis centers are offering any type of assistance. Even to use the bathroom or make a phone call.
Emergency services responded in a manner most honourable and courageous.
Whoever is responsible for this will undoubtedly be punished.
But may that process of “American Justice” not oppress and be misguided and blinded by hate, fury and racism.
And more than anything “Please don’t be Muslim” also translates to “May my rights not be stripped, disregarded and ignored”.
That in itself is terrifying.
May the people of Boston recover from this nightmare.
May their efforts to recover be supported and respected.
May they be lauded for reacting with generosity and kindness and concern for strangers.
And may we all run in safety and security.
I missed my football match tonight. It’s the first Thursday in seven months of our indoor season that I have not played- due to ligament injury. As I lay icing and compressing- I had the most cathartic experience.
In my email account I received the MOST EXCITING e-mail.
An email that I have been hoping for and dreaming about for years.
I, and thousands of Muslimah footballers, have waited for this moment.
A time when a product that is affordable ($60) and available in a variety of colours and is recognized, accepted and APPROVED by the International Football Association Board (IFAB).