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Citing rules, hijab-wearing teen not allowed to play in basketball game with headscarf; now CAIR is involved

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In the post-Obama era, you can be sure this will not stand for very long.

..and didn’t.

Adhering to the rules, a Maryland referee said a Muslim girl could not play in a regional final basketball game if she wore a hijab, according to CNN.

“Once I found out I had mixed emotions — anger, sadness and disappointment — at the ref for making the call,” student Je’Nan Hayes said.

Emotions that resulted in the Hayes’ family joining up with the Council on American-Islamic Relations to have the ruled eliminated.

“All she wanted to do was be a member of a team,” CNN reporter Jamiel Lynch began. Certainly not the opening you’d expect to see about a kid from West Virginia rocking an NRA t-shirt.

Hayes played in 24 games, including two postseason contests, as a member of the Watkins Mill High School team, but was not allowed to compete in a regional final contest, CNN reported.

Pointing to the rule book, the Prince George’s County referee told her coach they must have an authorization before she could play.

More from CNN on the rule:

The National Federation of State High School Associations’ rule book states that head decorations and headwear are prohibited. The rulebook says there is an exception on an individual basis for medical, cosmetic or religious reasons, but only if there is documented evidence provided to the state that the participant may not expose their head.

The state association must approve the wrap or covering as long it is not in danger of coming unattached during play.


Hayes was not told the reason she did not play until after the game, when her coach pulled her aside and explained it was because of the rule regarding her hijab.

Contacted after the incident, the state’s high school sports ruling body erred on the side of political correctness, saying Hayes’s hijab should not have prevented her from playing, according to CNN.

“Unfortunately the officials made a strict interpretation of the National Federation of State High Schools playing rules for basketball instead of the spirit of the rule designed to ensure safety and competitive fairness,” spokesman Bill Reinhard said.

“There should have been no denial of participation and we are committed to working with the school and the family to ensure this does not happen again.”

Tom Tillison


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