Muslim Girl Won't Take off Head Scarf, Can't Play Basketball

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A referee at a youth basketball game in Maryland would not let a Muslim girl take the court because she refused to remove her head scarf. The situation was quickly rectified, and Maheem Haq was able to play the second half -- with her scarf.

"I was upset a little bit 'cause I really wanted to play, and I enjoy playing basketball," Maheem told WJZ-TV.

But the referee decided the 12-year-old girl couldn't take the court because the scarf could be a danger to her.  

Mid-Maryland girls basketball coordinator Daphnie Campbell said he did the right thing. "The referee was within his rights. He was right to do what he did."

That's because it seems the girl's parents were required to file a request to allow their daughter to wear a scarf. Campbell took the blame for not properly notifying them about that.

The forms were filled out courtside, allowing Maheem to enter the game in the second half.

The league's scheduler, Jim Shannon, said there is concern that the girl could suffer a neck injury if her scarf got tangled with another player.

The NCAA, which has rules for everything, allowed University of Memphis freshman Bilquis Abdul-Qaadir to play with a scarf this season, becoming the first woman to ever play college basketball with a head scarf.


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