Islamophobia 101: Episode 25–High School Track Star Alleges Religious Discrimination

Posted on January 16, 2008

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WASHINGTON, DC (WUSA) — A DC track and field star says she’s been the victim of religious discrimination. Officials at the Montgomery Invitational track meet told Juashaunna Kelly she had to remove her Muslim head covering if she wanted to compete.

It was a roller coaster weekend for the 17 year old star from Roosevelt High School. On Friday, Gatorade named her DC Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year. On Saturday, officials at the Montgomery Invitational left her weeping.

“I knew she was about to say I couldn’t run,” says Juashaunna. “So I started crying. And she told me to calm down and everything. And I was just standing there crying.”

Juashaunna Kelly Discriminated Against

Since her sophomore year at Roosevelt, Juashaunna has worn a custom made suit that covers her head and neck as required by her faith. But officials at the prestigious indoor track told her it violated the rules. “And I told her, I’ve been wearing it for three years, why can’t I wear it now?”

“I said doing that would be almost like me sending her out there buck naked,” says Roosevelt track coach Anthony Bowden. “I can’t do that.” [more]

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