Desperate times ...

Fearing attacks, Muslim women are taking measures to protect themselves

Women pray before the start of the annual Muslim Day Parade in the Manhattan borough of New York City, September 25, 2016. REUTERS/Stephanie Keith - RTSPDPA

With hate crimes against Muslims on the rise, some Muslim women have decided not to wear their hijabs in public. According to a report in USA Today, imams across the country have ratified that decision, telling female worshippers that they can leave the traditional head scarf at home for the sake of their safety.

“It’s important to give our women support and validate the fear they’re feeling,” said Imam Omar Suleiman, president of the Yaqeen Institute for Islamic Research and resident scholar at the Valley Ranch Islamic Center in Texas. “Fear isn’t quantifiable; it’s to the person’s own experience.”

A Pew Research Center analysis found that rates of physical attacks on Muslims reached 9/11-era levels last year, spurred at least in part by the presidential campaign of Donald Trump, who called for a ban on Muslim immigrants and tapped into a current of Islamophobia running throughout the country.

Over the past few weeks alone, three women have been targeted because they were wearing hijabs. Last week, Minneapolis state representative Ilhan Omar was threatened by a cab driver, who called her “ISIS,” as she was leaving the White House. A Muslim transit worker in New York was pushed down the steps of Grand Central Terminal by a man who called her a terrorist, and a Muslim police officer was threatened in Brooklyn.

To protect themselves, some women are uncovering their hair. Others are buying pepper spray, applying for concealed carry permits, or taking self-defense classes. In November, when the New York Muslim Community Network announced that it would be hosting self-defense workshops, more than 2000 women requested to join.

Read the full story at USA Today.


Following the election outcome, Muslim women share their fears over wearing hijab in public


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *