Springfield native Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir is the leading scorer in Massachusetts high-school girls basketball history. She is also an advocate against a rule from international basketball governing body FIBA that doesn’t allow Muslim women to wear hijabs.
FIBA’s rule calls religious head coverings a safety concern, but in a new film from UNINTERRUPTED, Abdul-Qaadir gives a pretty convincing reason why that concern isn’t doesn’t seem to be founded in reality. The short film, entitled “FIBA ALLOW HIJAB,” also covers what Abdul-Qaadir has been doing to fight against FIBA’s ban on hijabs, and how she is finding ways to work in basketball with fellow Muslim women.
You can (and should) check it out here:
The hijab rule is a significant blow to Abdul-Qaadir’s professional career. According to her college coach, Indiana State’s Joe Wells, she easily could have carved out a roster spot overseas.
“Had she been able to go over the right out of college, there’s no doubt she would have found a home, and she would have been able to move up fairly rapidly, I believe,” Wells said in the video.
After the video dropped, Abdul-Qaadir got a pretty significant vote of support: Cleveland Cavaliers superstar LeBron James quote-tweeted the link to the video, calling for her to “keep doing her thing.”
Abdul-Qaadir has also been featured on ESPN’s Outside The Lines.