Channel One News celebrates how Islam treats young women.

August 4, 2017

The heads of Muslim girls have to be covered, even when playing basketball?!  This sounds correct to Channel One News. Students need to understand that treating women differently is perfectly acceptable if there is a religious principle involved. Changing the backward beliefs of children is an important mission of Channel One News.


From Jim Metrock:  Channel One News doesn’t spend most of its time covering hard news.  It can’t.  It would be too expensive, and besides, the show is always a day late because it is, even in 2017, a taped show.

Channel One could produce a live show that would be more current for students, but why bother, the kids aren’t worth spending that kind of money.

So Channel One News is a “canned” show that fills up much of its time with feature stories that have a long shelf life and are cheaper to produce.

Channel One uses feature stories to present its “progressive” slant on certain issues.  Channel One News helped children understand and accept the idea of gay marriage years before President Barack Obama changed his opposition to such marriages.  Channel One employed a part-time gay rights activist, Derrick Shore, who brought gay rights stories into American high school and middle school classrooms.

Nowadays some in America are put off by the treatment of Muslim women.  Not Channel One.

Here are two recent Channel One News feature stories that help students better appreciate Islam and the restrictions the religion places on females. To Channel One producers, Islam’s treatment of women and girls is something to be celebrated.  There is no hint in these stories that any Muslim girl would be opposed to such dress requirements.

Note: Channel One News refuses to allow parents to see back episodes of their programming.  Each day’s program is shown on Channel One’s website but is deleted when the newest show replaces it.  Channel One News may be seen as “anti-parent” by some, but they would argue that the content of their classroom program is between them and students.



From the Channel One News transcript March 23, 2017

Okay, after the break, how some girls are keeping their faith in the world of sports.

Tom: Okay, so according to the Pew Research Center, there are an estimated
3.3 million Muslims living in the United States, and that is expected to double by the year 2050. Emily Reppert went to Minnesota, which has one of the largest Muslim populations in the country, and introduces us to young women breaking barriers on the basketball court.

Fatimah Hussein: We don’t want girls to pick between clothes and their religion; there should not be a barrier between clothes and, you know, sports.

Emily: That is why Fatimah Hussein created a space where Muslim girls could feel comfortable playing sports while still practicing their religious beliefs.

So they will be the first team wearing full-coverage hijabs in this league.

Hussein: Full coverage in this league, and it’s very amazing, so we can’t wait, actually.

Emily: The program is called G.I.R.L.S., at a rec center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. This group of Muslim girls play basketball while wearing the headscarf — called the hijab —and dress modestly, in line with their Muslim faith.

Hussein: If we can see one girl who’s saying, “I can do this,” it makes our day. And we want the next generation not to even think about, you know, “Oh, maybe I can play.” We want to make sure that there’s nothing maybe — they’re in, playing.

Emily: Because before that, the only place to find these girls was on the sidelines.

Sara Barqadtimir: It’s an open gym that we get to play, and we have a team, and we never take Ls.


Farah: You can work on your technique and your skills and, you know, become the next James Harden.

Emily: Why is it important for you, though, to stay covered, either if you are on the street or here playing basketball?

Sara: Because that’s our religion; that’s what we do. Like, if you’re playing basketball, playing soccer, playing any sport, you cover yourself and follow your religion in anything you do.

Emily: A movement that has got momentum — during the 2016 Summer Games, U.S. fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad became the first American to compete in the Olympics while wearing a hijab …

Ibtihaj Muhammad: It is the most surreal experience, honestly.

Emily: … bringing home a bronze medal and a message that anyone, including Muslim women, can play and excel in sports.

Muhammad: We need to change, you know, our thought process. I want children out there to believe that they are a part of this space, that they can be members of the Olympic team despite their skin color, you know, despite their religion, despite their gender.

Emily: In October 2016 history was made again when Rahaf Khatib became the first Muslim runner to appear on a fitness magazine wearing a hijab. And just last month, Nike unveiled its own pro hijab, which will be available for sale next year …

Hussein: We are so excited that Nike — a powerhouse like that — picked up and said they are planning to do it. We’re more than happy.

Emily: … helping to break the barriers when it comes to hijabs and sports.

Hussein: All it needs is a lot of advocacy and a lot of girls, and I think this generation is the generation that will be able to change this and make this move. We want girls to dream — and dream high. Their hijab should not limit them for what they want to be.

Emily: Emily Reppert, Channel One News.

Tom: And Fatimah has even created her own modest activewear line called ASIYA, which sells online. Very cool. Also, can’t wait to check out Part 2 tomorrow. Spoiler alert: They head into the boxing ring. You don’t want to miss it.



From the Channel One News transcript March 24, 2017

Arielle: All right, guys, when we get back, a young woman punching through barriers on her way to the top.

Arielle: If you are an athlete, facing your opponent is the ultimate rush. But for some athletes, competition is clashing with their faith. Yesterday, we told you about a group of Muslim girls on the basketball court shooting hoops. And today, Emily Reppert talks to one young boxer who is fighting just for the chance to fight.

Amaiya Zafar: You have to live it. You really have to live it.

Emily: For Amaiya Zafar, boxing is life. 

How much work and time do you put into this sport?

Amaiya: All of my time — all of my time. I’m here four hours every day.

Emily: For the past three years, the 16-year-old from St. Paul, Minnesota, has given this sport her all. 

Amaiya: You have to be hungry for it; you have to want it, like really, really, really want it. And the moment I walked into a boxing gym, I was in love — in love. 

Emily: It was love at first sight for Amaiya, but when it comes to her amateur boxing career — well, she is still waiting for her fairy-tale ending … 

Amaiya: I haven’t actually fought, so I don’t know what it’s like to have that moment where it’s all on me.

Emily: … because boxing isn’t her only love.

Amaiya: My religion and boxing is my whole life. Like, I practice my religion and I practice boxing every day. 

Emily: And, as of now, her religion is standing in the way.

Amaiya: They have said I can’t fight with long sleeves and pants and a scarf.

Emily: The Muslim teen follows a traditional dress code some women follow, which consists of veiling, or covering, the entire body except the face, hands and feet. And the scarf she wears on her head is called a hijab.

Amaiya: To me, it’s like my crown. It’s my way of saying I’m a Muslim. I need to wear that for my religion; I’m not willing to go without it. And because of that, they haven’t let me fight. 

Emily: According to the International Boxing Association and USA Boxing Rulebook, boxers must wear a sleeveless athletic shirt and a pair of loose-fitting trunks that reach halfway down the thigh, no lower than the knees. Boxers are not permitted to wear additional apparel other than the competition uniform into the ring, something she disagrees with and considers to be a jab to not only her religion, but freedom.

Amaiya: I shouldn’t have to compromise my hijab and my modesty for my sport, and I shouldn’t have to compromise my sport for that. It’s America — you know, I should be able to practice both.

Emily: But when it comes to hijabs and sports, that doesn’t always seem to be the case. In fact, the International Basketball Federation, the International Volleyball Federation and the International Swimming Federation all have regulations that prevent or significantly limit an athlete’s ability to compete if they wear a hijab or cover their bodies.

However, there has been progress. The International Football Association overturned its ban on religious headgear in 2014. And advocacy groups like Shirzanan are currently fighting the hijab ban in basketball.

Mara Gubuan: This rule had been in place for maybe 20 years, before Muslim females were widely playing the game. 

Emily: Why does this need to change, and not only for basketball, but for all sports?

Gubuan: Well, No. 1, as it’s written in the Olympic charter, that the practice of sport is a human right.

Emily: Shirzanan, which means “female heroes” in Persian, works to advance Muslim women’s rights in sports and media, and now it is fighting for Amaiya, too … 

Gubuan: I just contacted her. We’re trying to determine how to implement a standard uniform that’s acceptable for all observant Muslims to wear. 

Emily: … making her its youngest ambassador alongside other trailblazers just like herself.

Amaiya: To me, that makes it feel really real, that I might — you know, I am a trailblazer. I am working to get things changed.

Emily: Last November, at the Sugar Bert Boxing National Championships in Kissimmee, Florida, what appeared to be another defeat turned out to be a victory in disguise.

Amaiya: So when we went to Florida, and they disqualified me, the girl I was going to compete with — when they disqualified me, she gave me the belt. And that turned the situation around, like it went from feeling like I got cheated and feeling like it wasn’t fair — what happened wasn’t fair — to being like, “You know what? It wasn’t, but we’re going to change it,” like, I have people that are standing with me. 

Emily: Standing with her and, for some, even looking up to her …

Amaiya: When I’m working with a kid and I see them get excited because they’re doing it right, I see myself in them. 

Emily: … because she knows this battle is about more than just her. Emily Reppert, Channel One News.

Arielle: Great story. Thanks, Emily.


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,