What we wear is one way to express who we are, our human identity. Why aren’t we all respected equally?
As a Muslim American woman wearing a head scarf, Farhana sometimes gets the looks and comments. But she handles people with understanding, because she knows Islamophobia is based on fear and ignorance. As a public-school educator and the Public Relations Committee Chair at the Muslim Community Center in Silver Spring, Maryland, Farhana shows people that we are 99.9% the same. Farhana also shares her personal reasons for wearing a head scarf. No one forced her. It was her own choice, her decision alone. Sadly, many Muslim women, out of fear, have stopped wearing head scarves. She also addresses a common belief that Muslim women are oppressed. She explains that any unequal treatment stems from cultural norms within countries and families and a lack of education about women’s rights – not from Islam. In fact, Islam gives women rights. Islam is very progressive.
How do we reduce Islamophobia and the fear of Muslims? She answers this huge question with a simple answer. In fact, it’s exactly how a warm friendship started between Farhana and Michelle. The two women share the same American values and continue working together to join Muslims and non-Muslims in friendship and harmony.
What can you do?
- Google local mosques
- Call and ask about events
- Attend an event and reach out!