Keeping the Faith

March 27, 2008

Author: BILL WARD

Source: The Tampa Tribune

http://www2.tbo.com/content/2008/mar/27/sp-keeping-the-faith-t/

The questions they are asked most often deal with how hot, uncomfortable or restricted they feel trying to compete wearing that much clothing. What some people don't always take time to ask is why, as female Muslims, they are competing in track and field.

For freshmen Briana Canty of Tampa Bay Tech and Zein Kattih of King, and Brandon junior Sabrina Alahmad, the answers aren't much different than most students in the sport.

True, as females who adhere to the teachings of Islam, they observe "hijab," requiring them to cover their heads and bodies. They also take part in prayer five times each day, which can sometimes conflict with practice or competition.

Apart from that, these young athletes appear to be typical teenagers. And, like most of them playing sports at that age, they're competing for fitness, friendship and, of course, a little fun.

See also: Islam, Women, Youth