Jump to content
Islamic Forum
Sign in to follow this  
Arsalan

Female Muslim basketball player quits USF team

Recommended Posts

"you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_www.sptimes(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/2004/09/16/Sports/Muslim_basketball_pla.shtml"]you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_www.sptimes(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/2004/09/16/Sports/M...tball_pla.shtml[/url]

___________

 

College basketball

Muslim basketball player quits USF team

 

Andrea Armstrong said she is leaving due to increased attention, but a Muslim rights leader says it was out of fear.

 

By GREG AUMAN, Times Staff Writer

Published September 16, 2004

 

TAMPA - Andrea Armstrong, the USF women's basketball player who was seeking NCAA approval to wear religious clothing during practice and games, quit the team Wednesday, saying she did not want her Muslim religion to become a distraction for her team.

 

But the leader of a local Muslim rights group said the 22-year-old was frightened by hate e-mails and negative reactions she's encountered since a St. Petersburg Times article detailed her story Saturday.

 

"The controversy with USF and the NCAA was peanuts compared to the backlash that has erupted," said Ahmed Bedier of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, who spoke with Armstrong on Wednesday night. "The bigger fight is against public opinion and the bigotry and ignorance we have in our society."

 

Armstrong could not be reached for comment.

 

The 6-foot-3 senior quit the team two weeks ago but rejoined Friday, after Bedier's group sent the university a letter protesting "a case of apparent religious discrimination."

 

This time, Armstrong said she's left the team for good, though she will remain on scholarship this season.

 

"Knowing the potential of my team and how hard coach (Jose) Fernandez and the rest of the coaching staff is working with the team, I don't want this issue to cause further distraction," Armstrong wrote in a letter to Fernandez and released by USF. "I am concerned that this is dividing my team, school and community. Because of this concern, I believe it best to withdraw from the team."

 

Armstrong recently converted to Islam and sought to wear long pants, long-sleeved shirts and a Muslim head scarf with her uniform in games, allowing her to comply with Islamic codes that require a woman's skin to be covered.

 

An NCAA official said Wednesday there would be no obvious problems with such a uniform waiver request, that no such appeal had ever been denied by the NCAA.

 

Armstrong told the Times last week that Fernandez had told her the clothing would make teammates uncomfortable and that Islam oppresses women. She also said he called her parents in Oregon and warned them that she had joined a cult. In announcing her decision Wednesday, USF offered a letter written from Fernandez to Armstrong, reiterating that both of her decisions to quit the team were completely voluntary and that she was under no pressure to do so.

 

"The Department of Athletics is committed to a comfortable and inclusive environment for our student athletes, and we want to be sure that no one pressured you to quit the team," Fernandez wrote. " ... I believ e that you clearly understood that USF will not tolerate discrimination, harassment or retaliation."

 

Those, however, are exactly what Armstrong has encountered since Saturday, Bedier said. She endured people saying things to her on campus, heard negative responses on talk radio and received vulgar e-mails that bashed her and her religion. The Times has received similar e-mails and phone messages since the story was published.

 

"She's away from her family, here by herself. ... It really scared her," said Bedier, who said his group supports her decision to quit the team. "I think she was overwhelmed with the amount of attention she was receiving. She didn't want to be the center of negative feelings. She felt frightened, and decided this for her safety, No. 1."

[Last modified September 16, 2004, 01:30:23]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
PropellerAds

"I was just very impressed by the imaan in this girl ....she was on a basketball scholarship at University of South Florida which means she must have been really good....and during this time she reverted and when she tried to play with her hijab and long sleeve shirt and long pants on the coach said that she had joined a cult and that Islam oppresses Women and made her leave.

 

So she appealed the NCAA (The National College Athletic Association) to allow her to play games without the regular unforms and let her wear hijab and the appropriate clothing while she is playing. Then she decided to completely quit after receiving many threats on her life.

 

It is amazing how strong the imaan of Muslims can be and is definately a good example to follow. She gave up something she has been doing since the age of like 5 for the sake of Allah (SWT) and May He Reward Her For This Abundantly!"

 

Check out both links...

 

"you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_www.sptimes(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/2004/09/11/Hillsborough/Islamic_USF_player__D.shtml"]you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_www.sptimes(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/2004/09/11/Hillsbor...player__D.shtml[/url]

 

"you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_www.sptimes(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/2004/09/16/Sports/Muslim_basketball_pla.shtml"]you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_www.sptimes(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/2004/09/16/Sports/M...tball_pla.shtml[/url]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

:D

 

Yes it is quite impressive..I always wonder if we had a choice like that to make, what would our choice be?? May Allah give us the strength to choose the right path.

 

Jazaakallah kheyr brother.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

After that she said that her conversion to Islam was a mistake :D :D

 

Armstrong's letter to the editor

Saturday, October 16, 2004

My name is Andrea Armstrong. You have probably heard or read about me in the news as a Muslim convert at the University of South Florida. I was fortunate enough to have been raised by a loving and caring family and close family friends in a small community. Lakeside, my hometown, and North Bend, the city where I attended high school, gave me a supportive, small town environment. It was difficult for me to leave behind all the people who genuinely loved and cared about me when I left for college.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My first journey away from home by myself was not just a journey a few hours away, it was halfway across the United States. I accepted a full athletic scholarship to Kansas State University. I chose to attend this university because it closely replicated my home life and atmosphere I was leaving behind. I felt that Kansas State would allow for an easy transition from home into the real world.

 

Although Kansas seemed to be a good fit for me, the basketball program was not working out. After two years, I chose to go to the University of South Florida. I was now over 3,000 miles from home. I was alone, in an unfamiliar area, with no family or loved ones near. At the time, I thought Florida was what I wanted. I did not realize that with this move I was slowly distancing myself from God, my family and friends. I was only able to get home a couple of weeks a year.

 

Even though I wanted to be so grown-up and on my own, I can now honestly say that two weeks a year was not enough time to be home. I was seeing things in Florida that I had never seen or experienced before. I was being immersed into a new culture and a new world that I was not prepared for. I did not hold fast to my family teachings nor to God or the Bible. I was too blind to see.

 

It was my loneliness and forgetfulness of my past teachings that caused me to convert to Islam. I know that my actions caused great controversy over the past few weeks. I had no idea that a decision that I thought I was making for myself would reach out so far beyond myself and affect so many. This mistake in judgment on my part has had far-reaching repercussions.

 

Admittedly, in the three short months that I embraced the Muslim faith, I had no idea of the rippling effect that this decision would have. Had I recognized the emptiness that I felt for what it was -- a homesickness for my family, friends, and home town -- I would not have tried so hard to fill it with an unfamiliar religion.

 

My introduction into Islam was through my acquaintance with a friendly Muslim family consisting of five children with whom I quickly bonded. They took me into their family. This seemed to fill that void in my life that I was missing. I was spending numerous hours in their home, playing with the children, eating home-cooked meals, and, of course, slowly getting indoctrinated into Islam.

 

Besides spending time with the family, I was also spending my remaining free time outside of school and basketball helping the mother in teaching her third-grade class at the local Islamic school. I was totally immersing myself into the Islamic community and faith. Through my naive eyes, I saw no harm. This small community was seemingly harmless. It was nothing like the picture I had in my mind of what they would be like.

 

Without realizing it, I was quickly losing hold of my faith and my whole upbringing. What I failed to recognize was that my emptiness was a forsaking of God by turning to another religion. When my mind finally caught up with my emotions and I realized my mistake, I decided that the right thing for me to do was resign from the basketball team. So, on Sept. 15, 2004, I submitted the following letter to the university:

 

"Knowing the potential of my team and how hard Coach Fernandez and the rest of the coaching staff is working with the team, I don't want this issue to cause further distraction. I am concerned that this is dividing my team, school and community. Because of this concern, I believe it best to withdraw from the team. So, please consider this my resignation."

 

Because of my experience and what happened to me, I feel a responsibility to make this statement so that I can hopefully help prevent it from happening to others. I know that I can't be the only person who has ever felt bereft and lonely. I am proof that even though you may come from an extremely loving and supportive background and have been taught all the proper necessities to make it on your own, it is very easy to be swept away with the current if you don't hold fast to God and your loved ones.

 

I take full responsibility for my actions and live in the certainty that God will forgive me. After a great deal of thought and soul-searching, I am returning back to the Christian faith and I urge you to join me in putting this all behind.

 

-- Andrea Armstrong Oct. 6, 2004

 

"you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_www.oregonlive(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/sports/oregonian/index.ssf?/base/sports/1097927846288440.xml"]you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_www.oregonlive(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/sports/oregonian...27846288440.xml[/url]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
After that she said that her conversion to Islam was a mistake :D  :D

 

 

 

I take full responsibility for my actions and live in the certainty that God will forgive me.

 

"you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_www.oregonlive(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/sports/oregonian/index.ssf?/base/sports/1097927846288440.xml"]you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_www.oregonlive(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/sports/oregonian...27846288440.xml[/url]

 

Boo-urns! Yeah right, keep telling yourself that. You see what secular culture does to people?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Asalamu alaykum

 

sad really...one minute she is muslim next a christain :D ...may she be guided back to the straight path before it is too late.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

May Allah bring her back to deen al haak

 

ameen

 

salam :D

Edited by amina

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Asalamualikum,

I make the same dua may guide her back to the straight path.

Asalamualikum

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes its extreamly difficult to show ur Islam, iin the current climate , ppl are very aggressive towards ppl showing their iman.

 

and if ur a conver its much harder , ur just surrouinded by tight rings of fire.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
Sign in to follow this  

×