Nor Diana looks to break down barriers for Muslim women

Nor “Phoenix” Diana is not a household name but she could arguably be one of the most inspiring women in professional wrestling.

The 19-year-old Malaysian born wrestler only has three years of in-ring experience but she is already making waves and paving the way for Muslim women in the industry.

Nor’s wrestling attire includes her hijab, a headscarf worn by some Muslim women. She is the first professional wrestler to don the headscarf in the squared circle.

Nor Diana
Photo credit: Fight Sport Manila

She recently participated in an interview with Al Jazeera, where she spoke about her desire to show all Muslim female athletes that the hijab shouldn’t limit them from achieving any and all goals that they may have.

When Diana finished high school in 2016, she began training to become a professional wrestler. Her parents were reluctant at first, but they didn’t want to stand in the way of their daughter’s goals and dreams. Diana began wrestling in a mask but made the transition to the hijab in 2018.

“When I started I was always worried that I don’t belong in wrestling as I wear a hijab. I was worried about what people would say about a Muslim girl wrestling. But I always trained in my scarf, and I started feeling more comfortable and confident and decided to wear it to the ring. My bosses were really supportive of my decision.”

Diana’s goal is to one day wrestle for WWE and be able to inspire Muslim women on a worldwide basis with their global reach being so wide. “I have a goal to wrestle in WWE,” she told Al Jazeera. “I think I can bring something to the wrestling industry. I want people to see me as a wrestler, and not just as some Muslim hijab girl.

She has already caught the eye of WWE Superstar Ali, who is also a Muslim professional wrestler. He can see the impact that Diana could make for all Muslim women.

“She’s breaking down barriers. She’s inspiring athletes across the globe that a hijab doesn’t limit or define them. She’s ‘normalising’ the hijab,  something many people don’t understand. I can totally see her making it to WWE. “Can you imagine the influence she would have on a global stage like that? I’m rooting for her, I really am.”

At such a young age, she is already making an impact on Muslim female athletes. She has years to grow as a wrestler and also as an inspiration to all Muslim women.

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