Muslim girl barred from taekwondo tournament over hijab

MONTREAL – A Muslim girl barred from competing in a taekwondo tournament because of her hijab was adamant yesterday that she would give up neither her sport nor her head covering. “I won’t take it off for any reason,” said 11-year-old Bissan Mansour. “Even if I can’t go to tournaments, I can continue to practise until I become world champion.”

Bissan and four of her teammates, all Muslims of Lebanese descent from the Ultimate Tae Kwon Do Club in Montreal, were told they could not compete in the Raymond Mourad provincial tournament in Longueuil unless they removed their hijabs, which were deemed a safety risk that violated competition rules.

Ottawa Citizen, 16 April 2007