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University of Windsor

Survey to measure influence of Islam on athletic wear

Why do Muslim women participate in recreational sports at a lower rate than other North American women?

A University of Windsor student believes clothing may be a major factor, and will conduct a survey this summer to confirm his hunch.

Murad Shreim, a master's student in human kinetics, said many Muslims have difficulty finding appropriate clothing that allows for the freedom of movement to actively participate while still honouring their religious beliefs.

Under the supervision of kinesiology professor Marijke Taks, he will survey more than 200 Muslims to determine how their varying levels of commitment to religion is related to other factors that influence their shopping behaviour for athletic apparel—such as price, brand, quality and fashion.

Ultimately, he says, the research could increase levels of participation and the overall health of people who may be disinclined to take part in sports because there’s no clothing to accommodate their religious convictions. He says it could also produce data that would help apparel manufacturers tap into an under-served market.

“There are about 8 million Muslims in the U.S.,” he says. “There are about 600,000 in Canada and they have purchasing power. They want to participate and they’re looking for brand, quality and fashion in clothing that acknowledges their religious obligations.”

Shreim expects to wrap up the research this summer and defend his thesis in the fall.

Master's student Murad Shreim will survey Muslims to determine whether their religious strictures around modesty of dress affects their participation in sports.