A 16-year-old aspiring boxer from Minnesota spoke out about her desire to compete in the 2020 Olympics without comprising on her religion.
“I love boxing [and] I love my religion,” 16-year-old Amaiya Zafar said. “I want to be able to do both without compromising the other.”
Amaiya Zafar hopes to compete in 2020 Olympics without compromising on her religion.
USA boxing rules do not allow wearing a hijab and an under armor shirt. “I’m not allowed to fight without my hijab because in the rule book it says you can only fight with a sanctioned uniform,” she said. “I cover to show my faith and my self-respect.”
Zafar further added she thinks it’s ignorance on behalf of the people who ask her to take it off. A lot of people have told her that it is not Islamic. She emphasizes it does not say anywhere she cannot achieve something that a guy can.
Amaiya Zafar: “I have the strength that a lot of people told me I didn’t have.”
Boxing has had unbound significance in her life. The sport has showed her how strong she is. She says she has what it takes to become a boxer. “I have discipline, I have the strength that a lot of people told me I didn’t have,” she said.
She says that USA Boxing is already helping her by asking international officials for a waiver so that she can fight with a hijab on. At the moment, she is just waiting to hear back regarding her plea. Her dream is to fight with her hijab and under armor at the 2020 Olympics.
Zafar says she hopes to be able to fight some day. “But if not, I don’t care how old I am,” she said. “I’m going to train until then.”
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