The Somali Religious Council (SRC) issued a statement on Thursday, as preparations for the national women’s basketball tournament were under way in Garowe, the capital of Puntland. “We warn that the women basketball violates the Islamic law, culture and its values, and it is a place where women can be easily corrupted,” SRC chairman Sheikh Bashir Ahmed Salat told VOA Somali. The tournament is the country’s first national female basketball competition and will draw teams from four- federal member states and Mogadishu, the capital.
When Girls and communities are trying to break away from the misery of war and invest on recreational activities, the traditional Islamic Clerics respond with invented fatwas that are basically informed by their own individual views dominated by patriarchy and misogyny.
Islam as a religion is about supporting the well being and health of individuals: both men and women alike. It is against the wisdom and the ultimate principles of the enteral religion to assume that it calls for women not to be healthy and to enjoy self-esteem and to develop positive attitudes and engagements with other women and girls form across Somalia and the world through sport.
The paradoxical side of this Fatwa is that the Somali Religious Council are among the strongest critics of the Al Shabaab militant militia, however with this type of Fatwa, they appear to actually be working in agreement with Al Shabab on disabling women and communities from claiming and living their normal lives. This is not the first time the Somali Clerics are imposing fatwa on women’s issues. A few months ago (in October 2016) the Clerics openly criticized women’s political participation during the parliamentarian elections in the country.
However, that notion back-lashed by the public blaming the Clerics “for only waking up when it comes to women’s rights while disregarding or ignoring other societal problems faced by women such as sexual violence and poverty.
AS SIHA we strongly believe that women sport is not only necessary for the well being of girls and women, it is also an important tool against all forms of violence against women and girls. The confidence women and girls acquire through sport is instrumental in decreasing their subjectivity to violence.
Go for it Somali Women basketball Team
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