Carol Earl punches through the barriers of “typical Muslim women” in her stellar career.
Many people they think oppression when they think Muslim women. However Carol Earl, a Muslim female boxer, is axing those false stereotypes placed on Muslim women. The two time Australian champion also inspires other Muslim women to try the sport.
From learning the skill of throwing punches, strength, defense and agility she has also mastered psychological advantages such as strong fortitude, patience and determination.
The two time Lebanese Australian champion migrated to Australia at just six months of age and didn’t take up fighting until she was thirty-four years of age. She was a dentist for sixteen years before she made the decision to retire.
Carol started Muay Thai during the pregnancy of her third child and later on had her first fight after giving birth with the support of her husband Wayne.
From a long time, females have been underrepresented in sports, especially physical sports or mixed martial arts, especially Muslim and ethnic women being told this is not for you, or women should not participate in sports that have violence in them.
“I don’t look at it as violent. It takes so much courage and mental health to work through those ropes,” Carol says.
So a sport like boxing or any mixed martial arts is considered taboo or abnormal by the Muslim and ethnic community for women to participate in, women should not be told they are unable to compete in these sports at any level.
“I wanted my community to look at the positive, not the negative. Why can’t they uplift a female. What don’t they realise that what I do gets the message across is more effective than theirs,” she said.
The representation of females in sport is important, they offer many jobs for these women’s at a professional level and it gives them the benefit that all the male athletes get. May that be physically, financially, psychologically and to any other way.
Dawah how it can seen positively, due to the misconceptions about Islam and stereotypes, and mainly cultural norms from ethnic old ideology that does put women at obstacles that make them feel they should not be competing these sports.
Dawah comes in many forms, one of the best ways dawah is done by practicing and being the best form of yourself.
“Being an ambassador for females in our religion became a great deal for me. Not fame or money but for purpose dawah openly for all religions. It wouldn’t matter, just being that different female can approach people in different ways.”
Seeing Muslim women in these sports being the best they are promotes Islam in a way that shows they are able to go out and do things everyone does.
“Before they criticise boxing, they try it. When you look at something on the outside, like never watch a fight, but if you’ve done boxing, and you know the ins and outs of it, you will see how its a sport and discipline.”
Carol Earl is not only breaking misconstrued ideas of what a Muslim woman is but also represents her faith in a positive light which is rarely shown in mainstream media. In doing so its creates a space for non Muslims to view Islam as a religion that empowers women and doesn’t oppress them.
Carol Earl has opened up HIT FC Liverpool in Sydney’s South-West in a bid to accommodate for females and males.
“Boxing Muay Thai saved me mentally, taught me about human mind and body and has allowed me to meet people then see changes through this sport. I need to share my experience to help them to become bigger and better.”
Forty-four fights later, Carol Earl now retires after an incredible career, she has also inspired many girls in our community as well as being a great advocate for Islam.