WASHINGTON, D.C., 2/28/08) - A prominent national Islamic civil rights and advocacy group today called on the Colorado High School Activities Association (CHSAA) to accommodate Jewish basketball players whose faith prohibits playing games on their Sabbath, which is observed on Saturdays.
The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) says players from the Herzl/Rocky Mountain Hebrew Academy will be forced to withdraw from a regional championship on Saturday, March 8, unless the schedule is changed. CHSAA officials have so far refused to make that change.
SEE: Jewish Athletes Lose Off Court (Denver Post)
“In a nation as religiously diverse as America, it is important that we all make the extra effort to accommodate the beliefs and practices of others,” said CAIR Communications Coordinator Amina Rubin. “Student athletes should not be forced to choose between their faith and participation in sports.”
Rubin suggested that any playoff games that include the Hebrew Academy’s teams be scheduled after sundown on Saturday to accommodate the Jewish athletes.
CAIR, America's largest Islamic civil liberties group, has 35 offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
CONTACT: CAIR Communications Coordinator Amina Rubin, 202-488-8787, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787 or 202-744-7726, E-Mail: email@example.com; CAIR Strategic Communications Director Ahmed Rehab, 202-870-0166, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org