Islamophobia Test: People’s Reaction to Woman in Hijab

Posted on February 1, 2007


Note from Rafik Beekun: I am always moved by the sight of our sisters in Hijab. They are the ever courageous and visible standard bearers of Islam. In this video test taking place in the seaside town of Southampton, U.K., a non-Muslim woman dresses up in hijab to test the reactions of non-Muslims to her attire. The results are amazing: you will see the ugly face of Islamophobia, and the compassion and empathy of non-Muslim Good Samaritans.

Remember that this was only a test. Our sisters have to endure this type of reaction on a daily basis when working, shopping or wherever else they may be, and they face worse consequences in Muslim countries like Turkey and Tunisia.

In Turkey, the hijab is banned in many places. Turkish authorities “not only ban the wearing of headscarves by civil servants or pupils in state-run schools as in France, but also in private colleges, driving license courses, court rooms and even some hospitals,” Ayhan Bilgen, head of the Mazlumder rights group, told Reuters. Ironically, the wife of the Turkish Prime Minister can wear the hijab when she visits the White House in the USA, but not when visiting Turkey’s own president’s palace.

Critics state that Turkey’s ban exceeds restrictions enforced in other countries, and say it violates individual freedom of expression in a country set to start European Union entry talks. So our Muslim sisters have to choose whether to remove their hijab or to receive an education, receive legal, medal or other government services, and work in public institutions.  They are often spat upon by the police and taken to prison.  Students have been dismissed from schools, teachers have been fired, etc. simply because they chose to wear their hijab as mandated by Islam. 

To honor them and to remind all of us of the trials that our sisters in Turkey are going through to win the right to wear hijab without being ostracized from schools and cut off from public sector jobs, I have included the following videotape:

May Allah Bless them for their faith and courage.