TENNESSEE: Muslim Bagheads try to force Americans to respect headbag-wearers

Every Hijabi Baghead has a sob story. Hajar Sakhi, a Rhodes College student from Nashville, was working at a fast-food restaurant in high school. One day, a customer looked at her wearing a uniform visor over her headbag and started laughing. He left without ordering. “My manager said, ‘You’re lucky we hire your kind here,'” Sakhi said. (Especially since ‘your kind’ drive away paying customers)

Rhodes College sophomore Chi Chi Ugorji, 19, lets fellow sophomore Irem Khan fix her hijab, a head covering worn by Muslim women. Ugorji, who is Catholic, was one of 214 students who participated in the "Hijabi for-a-Day" event. (In her case, I would suggest a niqab - full face veil)

Commercial Appeal  Irem Khan, a Rhodes student and White Station High grad, was with her mother at a gas station one day. They had just left a holiday celebration. As they were gassing up their Honda, a man next to them asked if the gas was running low because it was being used to burn more Qurans. “He started laughing and began to make more snide remarks, indirectly at us, claiming that if those ‘Mozlems’ could do 9/11 to us, we could do whatever to them,” Khan said.

Lettia Shaw, the daughter of an Alabama Baptist (and convert to Islam), was in her Cordova front yard when two guys driving by in a truck started shouting obscenities at her. “Until my husband stood up and they saw him, at which point they shut up,” Shaw said.

Those were some of the stories told this week by Muslim women in Memphis who have chosen — for personal and religious reasons — to wear hijabs headbags, in public.

The Hijabis Bagheads, who spoke at separate events Monday evening at the University of Memphis and Tuesday evening at Rhodes College, say they are used to dirty looks and disdainful comments. But lately, they are feeling a bit more anxiety.

Last week, a Hijabi Baghead in California, a 32-year-old mother of five, died after being severely beaten in her home by a killer who left a note that reportedly said, “Go back to your own country. You’re a terrorist.” (It has not yet been determined if this was someone who hated muslims or a member of the woman’s own family trying to cover up an ‘honor’ killing)

Just about every Hijabi Baghead has heard the T-word (Not the T-word, terrorist) and other forms of verbal abuse. All have felt threatened in some way. But the Hijabis Bagheads who spoke this week about their experiences said they never have been physically attacked, or knew any Hijabis Bagheads who had. (But they are sure they are about to be. Sheeeesh)

“Memphis is better than most places,” said Noor Eltayech, a Cordova High grad who helped organize Tuesday’s “Hijabi Baghead for a Day” event at Rhodes. “There’s a lot more tolerance here. Most people here treat us with respect. (You are in the south, sweetie, it isn’t tolerance, it’s called biding their time) But what happened in California has all of us more concerned.”

Eltayech, Khan and Sakhi are the only Hijabis Bagheads at Rhodes. On Tuesday, they were just three among dozens. More than 100 female students and professors at Rhodes wore hijabs headbags on campus — to raise awareness about why Muslim women choose to cover their heads, and as a show of interfaith tolerance and solidarity. (Nobody cares why you wear it, we don’t want to look at it)

“It’s really hot,” said Hannah Breckenridge, a sophomore and Baptist from Memphis who wore a hijab headbag Tuesday for the second time in her life. The first time was two summers ago at an Interfaith Youth Core meeting in Atlanta, where a man spit on her as she was walking down the street. 

“It was scary,” said Breckenridge, who brought the “Hijab Headbag for a Day” idea to campus. “We’re doing this because we want people to realize that behind every hijab headbag is a real person.” (No, they aren’t, they are Islamic supremacists who refuse to assimilate)

Eltayech said some non-Muslim students initially opposed the event, saying they view the hijab as a symbol of male dominance and oppression. But Hijabis Bagheads in Memphis say it’s just the opposite.

“It’s a woman’s choice to cover or not,” said Eltayech, whose parents are from Jordan and who decided to wear a scarf at age 13. She wore a hijab while playing soccer at Cordova High. “No man has ever told me to cover my head. (That’s what they are forced to say)

I chose to cover my head because of my faith and because I want people to see me for my brains, my intellect, and my behavior first, not my hair or my body.” (You have no brains, you are a slave to an oppressive, woman-hating cult)

“God loves women and has enjoined modesty through hijab in order to protect herself from harm, injury and mischief. She wears it knowing it gives her dignity, beauty and respect.” (Is that why under Islam, Muslim rape victims are either jailed,  flogged, or even stoned to death?)  Full burqas don’t keep Muslim women safe as there are more rapes in the Islamic world than in the West, much of it within forced marriages to children)

Heather Lawrence, a 16-year-old from Spring Hill, FL, a  junior ROTC member who wants to enlist in the Army next Summer, Lawrence was recently suspended for chastising a fellow student in the halls who was wearing a hijab, saying, “Take that thing off your head and act like you’re proud to be an American.” She first took offense at Read more