Muslim Football Team Names Spark Controversy in CA

December 28, 2003

Source: The Associated Press

On December 28, 2003 The Associated Press reported that the controversy surrounding football teams names such as Intifada, Soldiers of Allah and Mujahideen in a Muslim football tournament in Irvine has forced some teams to change their names and a handful of players to quit. According to the article, "Muslim leaders have asked the teams to reconsider the names. 'Sensitizing our youths is our role as adults,' said Hussam Ayloush, the executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Southern California. But he also said he believed the players were not being malicious when they decided the names. 'In this case, the choices were totally innocent and meant for a small intra-Muslim tournament whose members all knew what the terms stand for,' Ayloush said. 'Unfortunately, we are aware that a few of those terms are being tainted by the abominable actions of a few Muslims.' Ayloush and others believe the incident can be used to teach youths about freedom of speech and sensitivity to others."