Bilqis Qaadir basketball star scores big in US
MASSACHUSETTS: For most teenagers high-school is tough enough facing peer-pressure and acne, but being a Muslim female who wears a hijab, or headscarf, can make it even more daunting, especially when you are a top-scoring, history-making basketball player.
For Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir, who is on her way to becoming the first player in Massachusetts state history--male or female--to score 3,000 points, wearing the hijab was not an option but she was determined not to let it be an obstacle either.
"It really wasn''t a decision. I had to." Bilqis told Sports Illustrated. "I had to get used to it, no matter how hard it was for me. I know the first few weeks in school kind of tested me."
At 5'' 3.5", Bilqis started playing as an eighth-grader for New Leadership Charter School in Springfield but it was not until she reached puberty that she put the Muslim veil on and consequently start playing in full Muslim dress with her arms and legs completely covered beneath her uniform.
Bilqis said it was not easy and she frequently turned heads as people taunted her about the "tablecloth" on her head or for being a "terrorist."
"Sometimes they yell out, ''Terrorist!''" one of Bilqis'' teammates told the Boston Globe. "She gets mad, but she doesn''t lash out. I don''t know how she handles it. She just takes it."