Will a Muslim woman’s rights prevail over the desires of males who wish they were women?

Sports journalist Lucy Zelic posted the following on X, about a very conflicted Muslim woman who is forbidden against playing soccer with males.

We have reprinted Lucy Zelic’s entire post as it demonstrates the issue perfectly.

Last week, I received an impassioned email from a Muslim woman and mother who plays for a team in the North West Sydney Football Association. She wrote to them in May this year to express her concerns about competing against trans-identified males. 

“As a Muslim female player, I’m concerned with the male born players who “identify as a female" and play in our “female” competition,” she wrote.

“For religious reasons, Muslim women are not allowed to touch or be touched by men who are not either their husband or a close relative. As you know, soccer is a contact sport. My religion does not accept or understand the statement “identity as a female”. You are either born male or born female.”

She went on to ask crucial questions: 

“…how is allowing male born players [to] play within a female side inclusive when it excludes other female born players who have rights to play too. Why should I now need to find out if there are male born players within a team just so I can play. And, if there are male born players within the team, why should I (and other Muslim female born players) be forced not to play.  How is this inclusive?”

She was ignored. 

On June 12, just over two weeks after her initial email, she sent a follow-up, asking for someone to respond to her concerns. 

“Can someone please come back to me regarding my concerns,” she asked. 

The following day on June 13, the CEO of @nwsfootball_ finally responded and asked for “the best number” to contact her on to discuss her concerns. 

That same day, she responded to say: 

“I would actually prefer NWSF to address my concerns in writing.”

She was ignored. 

On June 21, she wrote again to the CEO to highlight the fact that a week had passed and that she was still awaiting a response. 

She was ignored. 

On June 25, she sent another follow-up email requesting a response by COB, 27 June. 

Once again, she was ignored and as of today, is still yet to receive a reply from the Association. 

What an absolute and utter disgrace. 

You see, the issue of trans-identified males competing against females isn’t just reserved for “radical feminists”, “bigots”, “transphobes” and “Nazis” - it’s discriminating against women of faith, women who have legitimate safety concerns, sexual assault survivors, women like this one who told me that she “loves” playing football and that she doesn’t want to forfeit or miss games just to prove a point - she just wants to play.

As she rightly pointed out in her original email to the Association: 

“Where is the inclusiveness and duty of care for us female born players?  Who is looking after our best interest and mental health?”

“Like myself, a lot of female born players use sport as an outlet for their mental health. Why does the mental health of male born players take precedence over the mental health of female born players? How is this not being sexist and prejudiced towards people who are born female?”

These issues aren’t made up or imaginary, they are having real world effects and impacting women at the grassroots level. One club President within the North West Sydney Football Association has already publicly revealed that he has lost all of his female players - 98% of them over this very issue. 

Is this what the future of women’s sport looks like @AnikaWells ? 

Is this how our women of faith deserve to be treated @SenKatyG ? 

Is this the kind of country we want our women and girls to grow up in Prime Minister Albanese? 

To the Australian women out there feeling let down by those in power, do not lost hope. The fight for our rights to single-sex spaces isn’t over - it’s only just begun.

The day of reckoning is coming for Football Australia and other sporting bodies in this country. They will have to make a clear choice; will they continue to protect and promote males at the expense of females? Or will they do the right thing and give females back their sex-based sporting category?