It is hard to not have stereotypes, but it certainly is important to try. Some Americans feel fear when they see Muslim women who wear the veil. Others feel pity. Others feel anger at the suppression of her rights. Husna Haq explains why you shouldn’t feel any of those for her. She writes:
I knew I was in trouble the moment I sat down. I’d just taken a seat next to an elderly Asian woman on the D-line train, on my way to a college class last year. She immediately stiffened. I began reading a book. She started twitching and looking around the train. We passed the first stop. She took out her pocket Bible, reading rapidly aloud as she rocked back and forth, clearly agitated. I felt awful, but I didn’t know how to calm her. Before we reached the next stop, she gathered her bags, hurried down the aisle, and quickly took a seat next to someone else.
I’d just scared a sweet, elderly woman with my petite, head-scarf-wrapped frame, and I felt like a monster. I was upset that my hijab – a strip of cloth, a head scarf – had become so loaded with negative connotations that it inspired such distrust.
Her hairdresser told her she didn’t need to wear it in America. “My hairdresser was trying to liberate me from hijab. But for me, hijab is liberation. It is the freedom to assert my identity and live according to my values.”
Read the whole thing.
HT: E-baad-E news
Muslim in America