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American Team Wears Hijab to Support Captain

Irum Khan

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.

“I got a lot of weird looks when I started wearing the hijab,” said Khan, who first donned the modest clothing in fifth grade and wears long sleeves and tights under her uniform.

“Kids at that age don’t know a lot about it. I went through half the year in sixth grade and then I took it off.

“I couldn’t take the name-calling, the strange looks, the racial slurs. It was too much.”

Though she hid the abuse from her family and school officials, she finally spoke up as her parents encouraged her to talk with school administrators and things got better.

Though none of Khan’s team has ever faced this bullying, they decided to take a stand and get a small taste of how difficult life can sometimes be for one of their own.

The idea of wearing hijab was first mentioned by Khan when she jokingly said it would be interesting for the whole team to wear the traditional Muslim dress during a game.

Instead of laughing, Solorzano, a fellow captain, seized on the opportunity.

“Everyone thought it was a really cool idea to support her and her religion,” she said.

“It’s really important to us because Irum is the only one here that’s covered head to toe. We thought it’d be something nice.”


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

“When they came to me, it made me feel good to see them taking the initiative there. They showed team unity.

“Here they were, displaying something we were trying to get to them. You don’t always see that,” he added.

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

Committing to her Islamic outfit and favorite sport, Khan will be enrolling at FIU next fall, with plans of attending medical school and studying sports medicine.

“I had to show my family that I could balance work, school, sports, family time and my religion,” she said.

“It took a year to prove myself, but they support me all the way. They’ve let me pursue it and I love them for that.”

Feeling grateful to her teammates, Khan found the strength to continue being true to herself, her sport and her faith.

“There’s always light at the end of the tunnel,” she said.

“You can’t give up.”


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  • Nimco Mohammed

    A really heartwarming story, well done to West Broward football team for standing up in solidarity with Irum :)

  • Miguel

    Creeeping Shariaaaahhhhhhhhhh at its finest!!!!! If this isnt evidence of a stealth jihad I dont know what is!!!

    It made my day reading this story :) v heart warming.

  • Jake

    Florida is where the scum of the earth go to live.

  • Mohd. Firdaus

    I really love this. The true meaning of understanding and respect between people of different culture and religion. I’m a Muslim (always will be :D) and last Saturday I played with my Christians friends in an inter-church futsal (indoor soccer)competition in Perth, Australia. No one in the competition knew I was a Muslim except for my teammates who invited me to play. Before the competition begins, we all made a large circle and put our arms on each other’s shoulders and prayed. I prayed to Allah of course 😀 But the feeling of praying with our Christians brothers is really something special. Inter-faith relationship is really important for world peace today :)

  • Sir David : Man on a phone with a french spell check

    Nice one girls
    Hope you can bend it like Beckham :-)

  • Me

    heart warming

  • mindy1

    Good for them for being accepting of their friend 😀

  • Christian-friend

    It’s an Islamic invasion!!! Everyone panic!!!!

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