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A couple weeks ago, we shared a story about a woman who used the hashtag #WeGotToMakeItAwkward for an article about a “wearing a hijab to work.”
And it seemed to hit a nerve.
We thought this story would resonate.
We decided to put it on our show.
So we reached out to some of the people who made it happen, asking them to share their own personal stories of being a new Muslim and why they chose to wear a hijab in the workplace.
The women who answered our call told us that, in their eyes, the hashtag was the best way to connect with a new group of people and to show them that they’re not alone.
The New York City Council passed a resolution last week that calls on businesses and public spaces to “recognize diversity in diversity.”
The resolution was prompted by a spate of high-profile incidents in which women wearing the head scarf were confronted with hostility or discrimination in the public sphere.
The story started when, in June, two sisters at the Jewish Center of the Jewish People in Queens, New York, were attacked by a man wearing a hijab and a baseball cap who threatened to kill them.
When police arrested the man, they also found his wife, who was wearing a scarf, as well as her 11-year-old daughter and a 14-year, blind daughter.
The attackers were eventually arrested and charged with attempted murder.
The case garnered international attention, and the perpetrators are now in jail.
In the aftermath of that case, the New Yorkers for a Fair Society (NYFAS) group released a statement calling for the Council to “reconsider” the legislation.
They wrote that, “As a woman of color, I have experienced racism, discrimination and the threat of violence, but never in such an egregious manner as when I was approached with a hijab at work.”
“My fellow New Yorkers, as a Muslim, I am deeply troubled by what I read today.
We all have to recognize that not everyone is welcome in our community, and that the hijab is an integral part of our identity,” the group wrote.
“But this is a time for us to remember that our actions speak louder than our words.
And we must also remember that the words we use matter.
It matters when we speak, it matters when people hear, it even matters when it matters to our community.”
This article was updated at 4:05 p.m. to include a response from New York’s Council on the Muslim Civil Rights Act.