A high school soccer match between a Muslim school and a Christian school came to a sudden end at halftime, and the reason why is maddening.
ISNA Private Islamic High School was competing against Robert F Hall Catholic School in Caledon, Canada, and the first half went off without a hitch. At halftime, the Muslim team was trailing 3-1, and it was then that everything changed.
After leaving the field for halftime, the Muslim team told the referee that they would not be playing the second half of the game because they noticed that there were two girls on the Catholic team’s roster. When Carla Briscoe and her female teammate entered the game, the Muslim team forfeited because they did not feel comfortable playing against two girls.
After hearing this, the girls made a huge sacrifice: they sat out the game so that their team could go on playing. In the end, the Catholic school won 6-1, but the victory was bittersweet for Briscoe and her teammates.
“I was upset, I just didn’t feel like I had finally made the progress to be on the team,” Briscoe later said of the ordeal.
Despite this, Essa Abdool-Karim, the ISNA Private Islamic High School soccer coach, says his team has no regrets about what they did. He claimed they didn’t even know that girls were allowed to play, and that because of their religion they do not condone “free mixing.”
“Free mixing is generally something we do not do, more so out of respect than anything,” the coach commented. “We want them to understand this balance between religion and having to sacrifice the sport you love is a difficult situation.”
The local school board has since decided to incorporate new rules that would cater to religious preferences in order to avoid situations like this. Many, however, are outraged by the incident, saying that the Muslim team is trying to force their beliefs on others.
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