Mar 7 2014
CHICAGO: Muslim woman finds she is treated a lot better when her headbag/hijab is covered up with a winter scarf and hat, but she can’t understand why. Ironically, she gets treated a lot worse by Muslims when she doesn’t look like a Muslim, and she can’t understand that either. Well, Duh!
Sun Times A Muslim woman’s effort to deal with Chicago’s brutal cold by covering her head with warm winter gear — inadvertently concealing her hijab — produced unanticipated and thought-provoking results.
Leena Suleiman’s online posting about her experience — which included suddenly getting more friendly treatment from non-Muslims and getting the cold shoulder by members of her faith — was among the top stories Monday morning on website Reddit.com’s TrueReddit and Chicago Reddit.
“I didn’t understand what was happening at first,” Suleiman, 25, said in a post titled “I Took Off My Hijab,” on her blog, Facetruth.
Non-Muslim “people started talking to me more. Women would speak to me like I knew them since forever. Men looked at me like I was actually approachable. And I was made to feel like I was actually from this planet,” she wrote.
Meanwhile, Muslim taxi drivers, who previously typically greeted her warmly and on occasion wouldn’t even let her pay, were far less friendly. “I’m used to going in [taxis] with my hijab showing, and immediately they’re smiling and asking me where I’m from . . . if I’m single?” Suddenly, she was greeted with cold, dead silence.
As she passed other Muslim women wearing hijabs, they no longer acknowledged her. Typically when one woman wearing a hijab passes another wearing one, one of the women will stare at the other until she notices, and they exchange a traditional Islamic greeting, she said. Now there was none of that.
At first, she embraced the warmer treatment she got from non-Muslims. “It was as if I accidentally walked into the wrong door,” she said. “I felt like I was actually a part of the society here. I belong here. I have a place, and I can be loved and respected and accepted.” But upon reflection, she said she began to despise the inequality. Apparently, the type of cloth you place or wrap around your head defines how you will be treated. (Nope, that only applies to Muslims. Other types of headwear are fine)