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Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Muslim women seek acceptance of culture, clothing

[Amal] Abo-Basha is one of thousands of Muslim women in America who wear the hijab daily. Religion and women’s rights have always been controversial topics, and Abo-Basha must deal with both issues every day.

Abo-Basha not only receives various looks of curiosity and confusion but also is disrespected daily by fellow students, she said.

“There are always those rude people everywhere in the world that are just not accepting of anything,” Abo-Basha said.

“If they work somewhere and I ask for something, they’ll fling around my stuff. They’ll give it to me in a rude way. They’ll snatch my money out of my hand — stuff like that. Also — this is really weird — they won’t look at me in my face.”

Manal Gasem, another Muslim student who wears the hijab, said she remembered an incident that occurred about four years ago.

Gasem, a chemical engineering senior, said she was driving north of campus when a white college-aged man yelled “Get that towel off your head!”

She said she was in shock at first because the incident was the first time someone had openly chastised her for covering her head.

Abo-Basha said even though she faces daily discrimination she enjoys wearing the hijab because she is instantly identified as a Muslim woman. [Link]

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