23 February 2014 – A ban on the use of the Islamic headscarf, or hijab, for Muslim women jiu jitsu fighters is finally lifted by the IBJJF (International Brazilina Jiu jitsu Federation).
Muslim female BJJ players from all parts of the world are celebrating the decision by the IBJJF to allow them to compete while wearing the headscarf.
As you may remember, thanks to the ban on veiling, female members of the UAE Jiu Jitsu team, Shamsa Hasan, Shefaa Moosa Muallem Hasan, and Eman Mohammed, have been dismissed from participating in the European Open Jiu Jitsu Championship 2014 which took place in Lisbon, Portugal. Egyptian sisters Yara Helmy and Nancy Helmy are also another example of female BBJ fighters who held strong to their Muslim religious traditions while struggling to achieve their BJJ dreams.
Caroline De Lazzer, former UAE Jiu Jitsu team head coach, has been calling for the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation to lift the ban since 2011 to allow her fighters to compete in international competitions, and finally her efforts have borne fruit.
De Lazzer to ArabsMMA:
I am sooo happy!!!! It’s was a fight that started on 2011, and I started to contact IBJJF regarding to rules against hijab. On 2012, I spoke with Prof. Alvaro Mansor and he said that maybe in the future this could happen. And now, 2014, finally the muslim girls can compete around the world and keep respecting their religion.
ArabsMMA is thrilled to see that there’s one less reason for Muslim women to be prevented from participating in the beautiful game!