Inclusion through football: The case of Diverse City FC

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In this piece we document how a football club has proved to be an important mechanism of integration for young Muslim women in Ireland. As has been evidenced elsewhere,[1] and discussed in this piece, Islamophobia is a reality in Irish society, whether as proximal lived experiences of hostility and discrimination, or as structural elements that deploy anti-Muslim tropes. In the face of such exclusion, young Muslim individuals, supported by local civil society actors, have taken it upon themselves to develop a platform, namely the Hijabs and Hat-tricks project, that not only enables inclusion, and develops meaningful integration, but also challenges head-on those tropes that cast them and their communities as ‘other’. Football, in the form of Diverse City FC, forms the focal point of this platform. Based on the experiences of these young Irish Muslims, we argue that football, and indeed sport more broadly, can act as an incredibly effective mechanism for meaningful societal integration. Finally, we argue for the importance of not only understanding the experiences of marginalised groups, such as the Diverse City players, but of the importance of drawing from these experiences to design future strategies for inclusion in Irish society.

[1] James Carr, Experiences of Islamophobia: Living with racism in the neoliberal era (London: Routledge, 2016).

Keywords: Islamophobia, Anti-Muslim racism, Ireland, Social Inclusion, Integration

How to Cite: Carr, J. & Power, M. J. (2021) “Inclusion through football: The case of Diverse City FC”, Studies in Arts and Humanities. 7(1). doi: