It Is One Of The Most Popular Forms of Islamophobia
Islamophobia is a global problem that needs to be addressed. Attacks on Muslim mosques from Egypt to Toronto show if people do not confront the issue, lives will be lost needlessly. People need to learn being Muslim does not mean a person supports or even condones terrorism. They also need to learn Islamophobia is not just attacking Muslims verbally or physically, even the psychological effect of discrimination counts. And acts like hijab pulling constitute a hate crime.
Hijab Pulling is Common
Muslim women typically wear a headscarf, hijab, or a full facial covering, niqab, and loose clothing for religious reasons. It is their right to do so, and pulling their headscarves off or attacking them for doing so is as discriminatory an act as pelting them with stones. Unfortunately, it has not stopped authorities from ignoring the hate crime.
In 2014, a woman confronted a female Muslim university student wearing a hijab on a Toronto train. The woman insulted and spat on the bewildered student who had never experienced such treatment in all her life as a Toronto resident. Authorities and those on the train did nothing to help the girl.
Fast-forward to June of this year when another student and her friends were assaulted by a couple because she was wearing a hijab. The couple verbally abused her and her friends, with the man attempting to pull off her hijab. Until today, London police still maintain they are looking into the issue.
Hijab pulling is a Hate Crime
In many countries, including the US, laws prohibit other citizens from discriminating against Muslim women for wearing the hijab. If pulling hijabs is, therefore, a hate crime, why isn’t it being taken more seriously?
Why aren’t the perpetrators of this crime made to pay for the faith crises, humiliation, self-doubt, and misunderstanding Muslim women targeted for wearing hijabs suffer? If leaders are serious about stopping Islamophobia and promoting cultural and religious diversity in their countries, then they need to address this issue.