Donald Trump has not yet entered the Oval Office and Muslims have already gotten a glimpse of the next four years—and it’s not pretty. On Nov 11, less than 24 hours after the elections, Muslim woman Farihaa Nizma boarded a bus in Queens, N.Y. like she would have on any other morning. But Nizma, who wears the hijab, recalled how an elderly woman confronted her. “She started telling me to take it off and that I’m not allowed to wear it anymore,” she said. “She came towards me and tried to pull it off.”
As other passengers tried to intervene, Nizma began to cry hysterically. The incident occurred less than two days after Donald Trump was elected president and Nizma does not foresee the state of America’s views on Muslims getting any better. She understands that she has a higher chance of being subjected to discrimination because she wears a hijab. “I know I’m more susceptible to a lot of things because I wear it, but it’s something I’m going to do — I’m not going to change that.”
Not only is it unfortunate to have to sacrifice the constitutional right to publicly express your religion…but it is even more disheartening to feel threatened for visibly practicing your religion.
Nizma is only one of the many Muslims who have become a victim of Islamophobia after the elections. At San Diego State university, a woman wearing a hijab was robbed in a parking lot. Police believed it was because she was a Muslim. At San Jose State University in Northern California a women reported being pulled as a man tried to grab her in an attempt to unravel her hijab.
After hearing of these multiple hate crimes, many Muslim parents as well as hijabis have suggested and considered taking off the hijab to prevent identification as Muslim women. Not only is it unfortunate to have to sacrifice the constitutional right to publicly express your religion in order to cushion the fear of Islamophobic individuals, but it is even more disheartening to feel threatened for visibly practicing your religion. It is clear that many fear the unknown, and the only solution is to open your eyes, raise your hands, and define the variable.