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Story of a Non-Muslim Hijabi

By Kathryn Van Gompel (USA)

 Since I started to wear the Hijab, I am treated differently. It seems to be one extreme or the other. On the negative side, I have had people avoid me. They will go down a different isle at the grocery store, or turn their head away. Some people will just give me evil looks. I have not had anyone say anything negative, though some whisper under their breath so you cannot hear them. It is in their actions toward me. They may think I am a terrorist, and are scared.

Many things I have seen lately show the ignorance of people. Hating on Sikhs because they think they are Muslim. Hating on Muslims because they think all are terrorists. I am hoping to enlighten some of the ignorant to know there are good and bad people in all religions and races of the world. Hopefully, I can help people to see NOT to judge people by their appearance but by their hearts.

On the positive side, more men open doors for me when I am able to get out and about. Some women have asked why I wear Hijab (apparently because I am white, or they think I do not look Muslim). I started wearing the scarves as head cover, but they do not stay in place that well. So I tried the Hijab and like it much better. I started partly for health reasons and partly to be more modest. I know Christians and Jews used to wear the head covering all the time. Some still do.

I am a Christian and my religion also talks about wanting women and men to be modest in the way they dress. I am sure it is personal for every woman that wears Hijab. I know Muslim women who do not wear them. So it is a matter of choice here in the USA. I know in some countries Muslim women are required to wear them or the burka. I am thankful for the religious freedom in my country so those of any faith may worship their own way.

I do believe we are all praying to the same God, whether one calls him Allah, Jehovah, Heavenly Father or something else. This world be a better place if we can only get people to love one another instead of hating.  Just the other day at the VA hospital I had a nice talk with a lady about my Hijab. I do not know if she was Muslim, but I was guessing she wasn’t. She was very respectful and curious. I talked with her for about 15 minutes. One person at a time, maybe people will come to understand and be less ignorant about those that look different from them in the world.

 

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4 comments

  1. Very very modest attitude sister,hope we all think in the same manner as you think..finally our human nature tends to preach humanity and be grateful to the creator..your words are very much appreciated.

  2. AFTABUDDIN MALLIK

    IT IS A GREAT INITIATIVE

  3. A non-muslim hijabi! May you be guided, ameen. That’s the best prayer a muslim can make for a non-muslim so please don’t be offended. Thank you for your words, your effort, and your bravery. Reading your post, I was reminded of the book ‘Road to Mecca’ by Muhammad Asad, a European Journalist who became muslim.

  4. I strongly believe this world can be made a better place to live, if we can love and tolerate other people, no matter your color,appearance,race,religion…Being modest in your appearance commands respect.let the awareness continue on HIJAB…(Cheers).