California Muslim Women Reconsider Wearing Hijab Over Safety Concerns

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Maria Ahmed (L), Hosai Mojaddidi and Shahzia Rahman founded a co-op preschool together and are good friends. Ahmed and Mojaddidi have long worn hijab. Rahman is a practicing Muslim but did not wear hijab until recently. She decided to begin wearing it in hopes of doing her part to counter anti-Muslim prejudice. (Maya Sugarman/KPCC)

Some Muslim women have been on edge in the wake of the recent mass shooting in San Bernardino, and before then, the terror attacks in Paris in November.

After enduring stares, dirty looks and harsh words in recent weeks, some women who wear hijab, the traditional headscarf, are now making difficult choices about whether or not to wear it.

One of them is Sidra, a 23-year-old Cal State Los Angeles student who was born and raised in Southern California. Not long ago, she and her aunt were on their way to their local Wal-Mart when someone pulled up alongside their car.

“This lady pulled down her window, and she spat at my car, and then she drove away," said Sidra, who didn't want her last name used. "I can’t imagine why she would do that, unless she had something against me. And the clear and obvious answer was my scarf."


The hijab is used by many Muslim women around the world to cover their hair, as a sign of modesty. But with Islamophobia and hate crimes against Muslims on the rise, some outsiders have zeroed in on those scarves as an obvious sign of otherness.

Read the full story via KPCC