A stranger came to me today in a coffee shop and told me she had been staring at me for a few minutes and wanted to ask me about my Hijab. We sat down and she asked me some questions and wrote her answers down in a diary. At the end, she thanked me and was relieved that I was easy to talk to and did not judge her based on the kinds of questions she was asking.
Someone was relieved to know that I would be okay with answering questions about my head covering. Someone was reassured by my wanting to answer questions and my eagerness to share about something that makes me diverse. Do you see what’s wrong with this?
For some reason, people find girls that wear the Hijab to be unapproachable and standoffish. I do not understand where this thought comes from and it makes me very sad.
I have asked people why we may seem this way. Majority of people have said they do not want to make us uncomfortable by asking a weird question or making a comment about something they are not really informed or fully educated about. The media makes us out to be some kind of freak show and people blindly believe Fox news and all of the beauty it has to offer on different religions, races, and ethnicities.
There are those few people who are completely ignorant and will not listen to what anyone says about things they have been brainwashed into believing. However, there are many other folks who are hungry and thirsty for awareness and understanding or have a genuine curiosity about things they are unacquainted with.
I think what has happened is that a cycle has formed in which a person that is curious about Hijab is not completely informed on what it is exactly but what they are told is to not talk to them or stay away from them. So they do not approach them. And then a girl who wears hijab wants people to talk to her about it but assumes that people see her as an outcast and notices that people do not really approach her and so she stays away as well.
This is a vicious cycle that I would love to put an end to. Ignorance is not bliss. Education is. There is no such thing as a stupid question and being curious and wanting to know about something helps you become more knowledgeable. It helps lessen the ignorance in the world.
So ask me about my hijab. Ask me why I wear it. Ask me about my religion and what it tells me about covering my hair. Ask me if it gets hot in there. Ask me if my parents forced me to wear it or if it was my choice. Ask me how I wrap it. Ask me where I buy my scarves. Ask me what the point is of wearing it. Ask me my opinion on wearing it. Tell me your opinion. Share your thoughts about the cloth that covers my hair. Tell me if you love it or if you hate it. Tell me a story about a girl that you saw that wears it. Take a picture with me and show your friends that you talked to a girl that wears a hijab today.
Be curious. Smile at me. Approach me. Talk to me.
I love wearing my hijab and I love talking about my hijab. I enjoy answering strange questions and I enjoy educating people that are interested in it. I enjoy standing up for it because I know how much it is put down. I enjoy learning about others and I enjoy when others are interested in learning about me.
I am the same as you and you are the same as me. Material covering my hair should not make me seem withdrawn or creepy. If you ask me I think it makes me more open to answering questions and hearing comments. I think it makes me different. I think it makes me strong and beautiful.
Ask me about my hijab. I promise I won’t bite.