Salam alaikum, readers! I’m traveling for the next week, and your regularly scheduled Friday Links will be temporarily on hold. But I’ve scheduled some wonderful articles for you in my absence. Friday Links will be back in a few weeks; in the meantime, enjoy! –Fatemeh
This post was written by Shazia Kamal. An edited version of this essay was published at AltMuslimah.
I appreciate Cassidy Herrington stepping out of her comfort zone, or as she said it, “climbing out of [the placating, soothing] “lap” of safety to wear a hijab for a month. She gets credit for making a sincere effort to understand Islam and Muslims by going literally “under cover” for a month donning the hijab. I sincerely applaud this undertaking.
I am also elated that Herrington saw the hijab as more than a piece of cloth, and understanding that in wearing it, one propels themselves to the position of representation and high-level scrutiny. In fact, given this very climate of fear and phobia, Herrington deserves an honorable mention for this heroic feat.
If Herrington was simply interested in what it feels like for a Muslim person to be examined externally, then I would call this project complete. This experience is important to relate in light of the remarks made by Juan Williams about being nervous around people with Muslim garb—a remark that Herrington herself points to as a sign of misguided fear and irrationality.
When Herrington said, “I realized the best way to identify with Muslims was to take a walk in their shoes,” I wish she had walked a little further. I wish she had crossed over the picket fence in her account to tell us how she understands this headscarf as a representation of Islam and Muslims, and what principles this scarf was speaking to.