Sunday, March 04, 2007
The Soccer Hijab Affair and the Jan Wong Controversy
MANCHESTER, England, March 3 (Reuters) - The International Football Association Board, the game's ultimate decision-making body, has backed a controversial decision to prevent an 11-year-old Muslim girl from taking part in a match while wearing a headscarf. The girl was kicked out of a game in Ottawa after she refused to comply to the referee's order to remove her hijab.
Now I don't want to comment on the referee's decision, because zillions of people have already done so. I just want to address some people's argument that the decision was not tinted with racism or bigotry because the referee was a Muslim himself. The referee's reaction is a well known phenomenon among "ethnic" people and other visible or invisible minorities.
Whenever I have to go through customs, I make a point of avoiding to stand in a line leading to an Asian/Oriental customs agent, because I know that, 9 times out of 10, that agent will be particularly strict and will give me as much hassle as possible. The reason is that non-white civil servants are so worried of being seen by their bosses and colleagues as too easy on someone of relatively the same race, that they go to the opposite extreme to prove that they are just as professional as their white colleagues. It's a variation of the saying: So-and-so is not a racist because he's an asshole with everyone.
So maybe the Muslim referee was worried that if he doesn't make a pre-emptive move, and some jerk files a complaint or something, he'll be accused of favoring a co-religionist and he'll be fired or punished in some other ways. It's the same reaction as with these two or three Chinese people who, right at the onset of the Jane Wong Affair, hurried to write to French newspapers to claim that they have never been subjected to racism in Quebec and that they are denouncing Jan Wong for accusing pure laine Quebeckers of racism. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jan_Wong_controversy
And that, my white friends, is the sad reality of minorities' life where you have to shit on your own people in order to avoid being shat on.