CAIR-Philadelphia Asks School District to Allow Sikh Athlete to Compete Wearing Religious Head Covering

(PHILADELPHIA, PA, 9/28/17) – The Philadelphia chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Philadelphia) today called on the Marple-Newtown School District in Newtown Square, Pa., to allow a Sikh high school soccer player to compete while wearing his religiously-mandated head covering.

A referee cited National Federation of High School Soccer rules to bar the Sikh player from the field Tuesday because he was wearing the head covering in compliance with his faith. School district officials have opened an investigation of the incident.

SEE: Referee in School Soccer Game Bans Marple-Newtown High School Sikh Player

“All student athletes should be able to compete while maintaining their religious practices,” said CAIR-Philadelphia Executive Director Jacob Bender. “We urge the school district to implement a policy that protects the religious freedom of students of all faiths.”

CAIR recently collaborated with the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association to adopt a statewide policy change for public high schools after a Muslim teen was barred from competing because of her religious head covering, or hijab. The council is working with the National Federation of High Schools Association to implement a similar policy change at public high schools on a national level.

SEE: CAIR Welcomes Policy Change on Hijab and Other Religious Attire for Maryland Student Athletes

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CONTACT: CAIR-Philadelphia Executive Director Jacob Bender, 917-660-3805,; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726,

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