Tae-Kwon-Do Hijab Incident: Letter Of Opinion From An Expert

April 17, 2007

The following is a letter by an expert in the field of the Tae Kwon Do sport. The letter is another indication that this obsession with hijab and religious accommodations in Quebec is clearly stamped "fabricated in Quebec" and not made anywhere else.

Dear editor,

I am a Tae Kwon Do master and a former international champion. Before coming to Canada, I was a former member of the Egyptian national team. I currently teach martial arts in the Physical Education and Kinesiology Department at McGill.

I want to quickly comment on the article titled "Hijab ban rarely invoked, tae kwon do officials say". It is true that Article 4 Section 2.2 of the World Tae Kown Do Federation (WTF) Competition Rules says that "wearing any item on the head other than the head protector shall not be permitted." It is also true that that rule was never invoked with regards to the scarf before the Sunday incident.

It is worth noting that my teammate, former world champion and WTF hall of fame member, Marwa Elhamy, wore the scarf in all her matches. In 1997, Marwa won the gold medal in the Fin weight division in the World Tae Kwon Do Cup. She was inaugurated in the WTF hall of fame in 1998: http://www.wtf.org/site/hall/winners.htm.

The scarf was not invoked as a safety concern back then.


Omar Ashour, PhD Candidate
Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education
Faculty of Education
McGill University