Are you bald? Aren’t Muslims like… terrorists? Are you not hot in the summer with your hijab?
We Muslim girls must have heard these questions a gazillion times, most likely rolled our eyes or exhaled the air trapped in our mouths before mutually groaning: not this again.
Just to clarify, wearing hijabs and burkas is our way of refuting to give others the satisfaction of judging us, either positively or negatively. Our purpose is to fight against the patriarchal society, and to prove that our burqa is our greatest weapon, while our hijabs are the crowns we proudly own, along with others whom we refer to as sisters.
Our strength originates from the sense of unity our Muslim community emanates, and this same unity reinforces our immunity.
Our immunity consists of not letting ourselves back down because we can fight against islamophobia. We are immune to the daily stereotypes we have to digest, because we are strong.
We have been called ‘letterboxes’, ‘thieves’, ‘terrorists’ by several leaders. But again, we are strong – and they are wrong.
And one last message for my sisters:
Paint your burka and your hijab into your skin like it’s a part of you; do not feel intimidated or undermined by our society. Remember that our community has abundant, supportive girls. The same girls that are there for you when you’re in need: in need of a suggestion, in need for someone to tell your story to, or in need of a safety pin.