English Oral Essay

A Women\'s Premier League soccer game was called off on Sunday after a player was told, she could not play unless she removed her Muslim headscarf. A referee refused to start the game until South Melbourne player Afifa Saad took off her hijab (a Muslim head scarf). The sports fanatic, in her fourth season with South Melbourne, always plays in a white Muslim scarf and long track pants under her team shorts.

It was the first time she had been asked to remove her hijab. She simply refused due to her religion as teammates and the opposition team supported her. The referee later said Ms Saad, 21, could take the field if she changed the colour of her scarf to match her uniform. Then, after consulting the Victorian Soccer Federation, he agreed Ms Saad could play, but by then the game had been delayed for more than 15 minutes, which meant it had to be postponed.

Embarrassed Victorian Soccer Federation officials moved quickly to rule out any suggestion that the referee - an experienced official of more than 12 years\' standing - had discriminated against the player, but agreed that she deserved an apology. The organisation said it had begun an inquiry into the controversy and expected to produce a report within a week.

A 13 year old girl by the name of Yasemin wrote to the Herald Sun on the issue. She expresses her thoughts by using persuasive techniques to gain our attention and trust in what she says. She starts off by, using an appeal to patriotism when she says ‘Australia is a multicultural country.’ By using this, she hopes to make the reader support her view by making us feel proud of our country. This is very effective because it is not just her opinion, but the country supporting her view as well. She also uses inclusive language such as we, you and me which indentifies herself as one of us and implies that the reader, is equally affected by the issue. This is also effective as it gains the readers attention, as the issue may affect them.

To conlude, Yasemin used a rhetorical question, ‘Are we only catering for certain types of Australians?’ This question is very effective as it helps to involve the reader in the issue, as well as imposing a response on readers by providing an implied answer. This also provokes thought in the readers mind about the issue.

Lisa McGowan opposes Yasemin’s opinion and agrees, that the hijab should be taken off before playing, in her letter. She starts off in a mocking tone, where a rhetorical questions is used to provoke thought in the reader. ‘Why is it that whenever someone of another nationality, race or religion is treated as an equal, everyone screams bigotry?’ This is a very effective beginning as it is a strong attempt to gain support.

A short anecdote is then used to shock readers and also to demonstrate that hijabs can be harmful on the soccer field. It is quite convincing as it demonstrates the writers point of view with a situation and provides more emphasis on the opinion. She then concludes by using another rhetorical question where she states ‘Why wasn’t something done sooner?’ This rhetorical question is left to readers to have a think about what has been said. The answer to the question is an obvious one which supports her view strongly, making it very effective.

Overall, both writers have two very different views on the issue, using various persuasive techniques to deter us into believing what they say, is right. Both writers make valid points, but it is certain that Lisa McGowan has written a stronger piece.

Yasemin’s piece is very light-hearted and is overall a strong appeal for justice. She uses patriotism as her fundamental argument, backed up by her strong support, as she looks at Afifa Saad as a role model. This is, however, all overcome by the stronger and outraged tone of Lisa who uses two powerful rhetorical questions and a small anecdote.