Muslim women who choose to wear (or not wear) hijab do so for many reasons. Racial justice activist Linda Sarsour and Olympic fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad appear alongside other Muslim women to explore those motivations in today’s (January 24) episode of the Seftel Productions and Vox web series “The Secret Life of Muslims.”
“The minute that I put it on, I felt like my identity became whole,” explains Sarsour. “Wearing hijab made you know that I was Muslim.”
“It’s, for me, a reminder to lead my life with religon first,” says Muhammad, who is the first American Olympian to compete in a hijab.
The episode also addresses what AJ+ journalist Dena Takruri, who says she only wears a hijab while praying, describes as the “Western stereotype that a Muslim woman who wears it did not have the choice to do so.”
MuslimGirl.com founder Amani Al-Khatahtbeh criticizes that stereotype. “For me, putting on a headscarf was emancipation, because that was the moment that I reclaimed my identity,” she says in the video.
The episode also features comedian and filmmaker Negin Farsad (“The Watch List”) and technology enterepreneur Layla Shaikley. Scholar and writer Reza Aslan, who executive produces the series, appears briefly to say, “A hijab is a thing that a male Muslim should have absolutely no opinion about.”
Watch the episode in full above.