Swiss basketball player to challenge headscarf ban

Islamic-headscarfGeneva  - A Swiss basketball player said she was set to fight a ban on her Islamic headscarf which would force her to either remove the covering or quit the sport, local media reported Wednesday.

Sura Al-Shawk who plays for the team STV Luzerne, was informed by the regional basketball association that International Basketball Federation rules banned headscarves.

"I've been playing wearing my scarf for almost a year and a half. Many of the players have Christian tattoos and religious symbols on their bodies and nobody objects to that," Al-Shawk said, according to the swissinfo. ch news portal.

The federation, for its part, said it demands complete political and religious neutrality when playing at league-level. Moreover, it said wearing "accessories" could increase the chance of injury, as basketball was a contact sport.

Al-Shawk, originally from Iraq, plans to fight the ruling and said she has support from Swiss law professors and lawyers in Berne and Geneva.

Switzerland's Muslim monitory constitutes about 4 per cent of the population.(dpa)

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