Of Hockey and Hijab (Review)

Book cover for "Of Hockey and Hijab" by Sheema Khan.Title: Of Hockey and Hijab: Reflections of a Canadian Muslim Woman

Author: Sheema Khan

Publication Year: 2009

Pages: 200

Genre: Non-Fiction, Essays

Source: Bought from Chapters.ca

Sheema Khan had written a monthly column for the Globe and Mail, as well as articles for other publications, for a number of years before coming out with this book. Of Hockey and Hijab is a collection of essays encompassing a wide variety of topics, ranging from terrorism and anti-Semitism to women’s rights in society and in the Qur’an (written as “Koran” in this book) to being a hijabi playing sports and the experiences of others like her. Khan focuses on the divide between Western non-Muslims and Muslims from around the world, particularly on the difference between ideas or stereotypes of Islam and the “real deal”. Other topics of discussion include the difference between mainstream Muslims and radical Islamists, WMDs (women in Muslim dress), the problem with people picking and choosing bits of the Qur’an and using them out of context (or downright interpreting them incorrectly), and the discrimination that Muslims still feel around the world, specifically in Canada, often by the government.

Of Hockey and Hijab is divided into topical chapters, each focusing on a broad topic of discussion. My favourite chapter was the one entitled “Canadian While Muslim”, a play on the old stereotype about American racial profiling. Overall, Khan presents the argument that many of the misunderstandings and disagreements between Muslims and non-Muslims could be solved simply by learning more about each other and being open to really work at cooperating and living peacefully together.

Even though I have read very few of Khan’s articles in the Globe, I really enjoyed this book. Each piece was very short and concise, but showed a depth of knowledge and of honesty that really pulled you into her arguments. By the time I was finished reading Of Hockey and Hijab, I just wanted to reach into the book and hug the author for writing down all of her ideas for people to share and discuss. Khan is a wonderful voice for presenting the issues of Canadian Muslims to pretty much any reader who wants to learn more about our country and the reality of the multiculturalism we claim to enjoy.


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