American Muslim Women Are Saying They’re Afraid To Wear Hijabs After Trump Wins Presidency

“I’m scared that today will be the last day I felt somewhat safe wearing my hijab.”

1. After Donald Trump won the US presidential election early Wednesday morning, several American Muslim women are expressing fear for their safety while wearing a hijab.

Imani, a black American Muslim activist in New York, said that the night Trump won the election was the last she felt “somewhat safe” wearing hijab. She said that when she wore her hijab on Wednesday she was shoved on the subway.

“While I’m not sure whether it was this was an incident of malice it made me realize how vulnerable I am and that for the sake of self-preservation I will continue to cover but I will do it in more creative ways like wearing berets or wearing hats,” Imani told BuzzFeed News.

She said she wore a hat for the rest of the day because Trump’s “rhetoric has empowered xenophobes and Islamophobes and I do not want to experience increased hatred or violence.”

Imani said she would never stop being Muslim and never stop covering because of bigotry.

2. American Muslims on social media reacted to the news that Trump — who has made derogatory comments towards Muslims and has proposed a ban on Muslim immigration — had won the election.

3. “Trump wins — my cousins get deported, I’m scared to wear my hijab, women are punished for abortions, Syrian refugees suffer,” one woman said.

4. “My 8 year old sister just told me she’s scared to be muslim,” another woman tweeted. “That broke my heart.”

5. Many Muslims were concerned about their family’s safety.

7. Muslim parents were concerned about the safety of their daughters wearing a hijab in public.

8. Daughters were also worried for their mothers.

Mareena Nouristani said her mother’s tears when Trump won the election “weren’t just for her and her future.”

“They were for all Muslims and people of color that would face persecution from here on out,” Nouristani told BuzzFeed News.

Nouristani said her mother feared “how much violent racist will be spiked even more so in our country on behalf of Trump’s dehumanizing rhetoric.”

Her mother fled from persecution, oppression and harassment in Afghanistan during the communist regime, Nouristani said.

“My mother came to this country as an immigrant to be free from religious and political persecutions, and she is now absolutely petrified that she’ll have to endure it all again, and even worse, see my siblings and I endure what she did,” Nouristani said.

She said that she also felt terrified for her family, including her mother, sister and aunts who wear the hijab. “I don’t feel like it’s my home anymore, and I genuinely feel scared to be here,” Nouristani said. “I feel like I’ve become an outsider.”

10. And husbands were scared for their wives.

11. “My husband just yelled at me for wearing hijab,” one woman said. “He got scared suddenly and is pleading w/ me to not wear hijab in fear that I’ll be hurt.”

12. Women told BuzzFeed News they were afraid that their hijabs would provoke attacks against their faith.

Mahwish Jawed, a high school senior in New Jersey, said that after the election she didn’t feel safe anymore.

“I feel this way because of the anti-Muslim rhetoric that Donald Trump has continuously promoted throughout his campaign,” Jawed told BuzzFeed News. ” I feel like hate crimes against Muslims, especially hijab-wearing women, might go up.”

Jawed said the election result shocked her, “because I never would have imagined that people would vote for a man who has said so many negative, racist, and sexist things.”

She said that hijabis like her will be afraid because of the negative rhetoric and hoped that people would unite as Trump called for in his victory speech.

“I hope I don’t have to be afraid to wear what I’ve worn for 7 years, something that means a lot to me,” Jawed said. “Something that means so much to a lot of women in this country. And to all the hijabis — stay strong.”

Some contemplated not wearing the hijab for their safety.

15. Muslims around the world expressed their solidarity with American Muslim women.

17. But many Muslim women said Trump’s victory did not deter them from wearing their hijab.

18. “I’m not scared of Trump and neither will I ever STOP wearing the hijab,” a woman said.

19. “I may be scared for my safety but I will not let myself fear him.”

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Tasneem Nashrulla is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Tasneem Nashrulla at tasneem.nashrulla@buzzfeed.com.
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