Real Madrid opens sport schools to the children of Gaza

31 January 2013

 

The agreement between Real Madrid Foundation and the UN agency for Palestine refugees (UNRWA) to open sport schools in Gaza offers “the children some sense of normalcy after the last military offensive on Gaza,” according to this organism.

The project, oriented to 500 children from seven schools in Gaza, “seeks to promote teamwork, gender equality and leadership. Through football, not only they learn the basic skills of the sport but also improve their ability to cope with everyday life, “UNRWA said in a statement.

This past November, when the project was launched “many children in the Gaza Strip were excited and this news made ​​them feel their idols Cristiano Ronaldo, Iker Casillas, Marcelo, Kaka, Benzema and Sergio Ramos a bit closer. ”
In total, and in the future it is expected that 10,000 Palestinian refugee children will participate in the Real Madrid sport schools in Gaza and  in the West Bank.

Muslim brothers sacrifice big NFL paychecks for spiritual journey to Mecca

Put simply, this is just another striving, improbable, poetic American Dream story: How a family, venerating work and education, traveled from the notorious South Central LA of “Boyz In The Hood” to settle in Spielberg Americana in the shadow of the soaring San Bernardino Mountains—a family with not one but two brothers recruited to play Division I football at Washington State University, followed even more notably by NFL careers.

But this story has taken many more remarkable turns.  Tonight on Rock Center with Brian Williams (10p ET), in  a remarkable journey from Southern California to Saudi Arabia,  correspondent Mary Carillo tells the story of Husain and Hamza Abdullah,  who, at their athletic peak … associated with America’s most glamorous, most  popular sport … walked away, for the glory of God.

 

“We’ve been playing football since we were 8 years old,” Husain Abdullah told Carillo, “from Pop Warner to high school, and to college, and into the NFL.  And although we’re knocking down all these barriers, doing things that people said you can’t do, all of a sudden, it was like there’s more to life than this. There’s more.  And we had to go for it.”

The French Football Federation will not authorize headscarves

News Agencies – July 7, 2012

 

The French Football Federation (FFF) said that it would “not authorise players to wear a veil” while playing for France or in organised competitions, a day after world footballing authorities said the hijab could be worn on the pitch.

The FFF’s announcement came after a French MP had urged the government earlier yesterday to ban the Islamic headscarf for women soccer players. The International Football Association Board (IFAB), custodians of the rules of football, overturned its 2007 ban on the Islamic headscarf, a garment it had argued was unsafe and increased the risk of neck injuries. Critics said the ban promoted inequality at the highest level of the world’s most popular game.

French lawmaker Gerald Darmanin wrote to Sports Minister Valerie Fourneyron asking that Paris denounce the U-turn “in the name of universal and republican values”.

AP NewsBreak: Federal magistrate says US falsely detained Muslim man as witness in terror case

BOISE, Idaho — A federal magistrate says the United States falsely imprisoned a former Idaho man under a law designed to ensure that key witnesses show up for trial, and a jury should decide if the government has misused that law in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
The ruling from U.S. Magistrate Mikel Williams in Boise still must be signed by U.S. District Judge Edward Lodge before it may go into effect, and it’s possible that attorneys with the Department of Justice will appeal, ask Lodge not to sign or simply reach a settlement with Abdullah al-Kidd.
The Wichita, Kansas resident and former University of Idaho football star sued the government in 2003 after he was arrested and held as a material witness in a terrorism-related criminal case against another man.

UK football fans and players distance British Muslims from supporting England in the European Cup

12 June 2012

Nooruddean Choudry of the Guardian, in his piece explains why racist motives included in the celebrations of the England fans and racist accusations against the team members make it difficult for British Muslims to support the national team. Choudry argues that references to the Crusades in England fans celebrations, which has been associated with bloody campaigns against Muslim lands in the name of Christianity, has indeed distanced Muslim fans from supporting the national team.

A Model of Successful Integration

Ilkay Gündogan is a rapidly rising star in German football. German born, but with Turkish roots, he has won the German Championship and the DFB Cup with Borussia Dortmund, has been selected for the German squad for UEFA Euro 2012, and is “Integration Ambassador” for the German Football Association. André Tucic sends us this profile

When the whistle blew at the end of the DFB Cup final, there was no end to the rejoicing on the Dortmund side. Borussia Dortmund (BVB) had beaten FC Bayern Munich 5-2 at Berlin’s Olympic Stadium. Ilkay Gündogan was also overcome with joy. Yet when he met fans, shook hands and exchanged slaps on the back, he suddenly paused for a moment: a fan was holding out a Turkish flag for him to take.

In such moments, it is commonplace for football players to drape themselves with their national flag, thereby highlighting their roots. But Gündogan, who only recently decided to play for the German and not the Turkish national team, turned down the offer of the flag.

Instead, he ran back to his celebrating teammates. A little bit later, however he could be seen with the white crescent moon on a red background wrapped around his body. He probably thought to himself: “I have Turkish roots and I should be allowed to express them.”

“I am just as proud of my Turkish roots as I am of my German heritage,” says Ilkay Gündogan. His father Erfan and mother Ayten were born in Turkey. Ilkay and his brother Ilker grew up in the city of Gelsenkirchen in the industrial Ruhr region, a good place for German–Turkish football players. After all, the city is the birthplace of Hamit and Halil Altintop and Mesut Özil. The Altintops play for Turkey, while Özil wears the German eagle on his breast.

“Illy,” as Ilkay Gündogan is called, could have played for his parents’ homeland if he had wanted to. “Of course, my Turkish heritage plays a role. But I was born and raised here and my mentality is German,” he said recently. Yet before he made his debut with the German national team last fall, he had to earn his stripes on many football fields.

American Team Wears Hijab to Support Captain

HOLLYWOOD – Cheering up their Muslim teammate, a Floridian high school football team decided to don hijab before their season finale game to show solidarity with their Muslim captain who has been taunted repeatedly over her religious outfit.

“Everybody looked at us weird,” West Broward senior Marilyn Solorzano told Sun Sentinel website on Friday, April 20.

“I understand now everything she went through and how hard it must have been.

“We just wore it for one day, and we noticed the difference. It was hard to keep on. It kept falling and our heads got really hot. You have to give her [credit] for wearing it every day.”

Donning hijab in middle school, Irum Khan, 17-year-old captain of West Broward High flag football team, endured far more than the usual pre-teenage taunting.

Early during her first years of high school, some classmates called her a terrorist and cursed at her.

She had rocks thrown at her and was physically attacked more than once.

The idea to wear hijab by the whole team was praised by the team coach as showing solidarity that unites the players.

“We’ve been trying to stress that the team comes first. The team always comes first,” Matt Garris, the West Broward coach, told xx

Islam sees hijab as an obligatory code of dress, not a religious symbol displaying one’s affiliations.

French women’s soccer match called off over hijab

March 19, 2012

A referee refused to officiate a French women’s football match, when players for one of the teams took the pitch wearing Muslim headscarves, the club involved said. The official sent a report to the Languedoc-Roussillon league in the south of the country about the incident involving players from Petit-Bard Montpellier, who had been due to play Narbonne in the regional promotion tie. The league must now decide whether to order the match to be replayed or to award a win to Narbonne.

Football’s world governing body FIFA banned players from wearing the Islamic headscarf in 2007, claiming it is unsafe. But football federations and even the United Nations have urged FIFA to lift the ban, maintaining that concerns about safety are baseless and that it discriminates against Muslim players, particularly when no such restrictions apply in other sports.

Dutch Headscarf Design for FIFA Players

5 March 2012

A design by Cindy van de Bremen has been selected for wear by female FIFA football players. The design is van den Bremen’s final college project, marketed under the name ‘Capster’s’, and provides an alternative to traditional hijab styles during play. Football association FIFA has decided to drop its 2007 ban on headscarves for female players, and from July women will be able to wear hijab during football matches.

Photo by Peter Stitger for Capsters.com

Le Pen slams Qatar for investing in French ‘Muslim’ suburbs

News Agencies – January 15, 2012

French Far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen lashed out at Qatar for investing in “Muslim” areas of French cities and for taking over Paris Saint-Germain football club. “I think this situation could be very dangerous,” she said. “We are letting a foreign country choose its investments with regard to the religion of this or that part of the French population or of French territory.”

The tiny but very wealthy Gulf state of Qatar late last year set up a 50-million-euro ($67-million) fund for entrepreneurs from France’s often-deprived suburbs to set up businesses. Le Pen said that in general Qatar was “playing a double game” by presenting itself as an “enlightened” country while at the same time supporting Islamist groups in the Middle East and North Africa.