Hijab handout clears US misconceptions

Fighting misconceptions associated with Muslim headscarf, Muslim students at California State University arranged a hijab handout to their colleagues to educate them about criticism and negative image drawn by media over the past decade.

“The goal was to teach what Islam really is because there’s so much negativity going around about Muslim people who are portrayed so negatively in the media,” Amina Hasan, organizer for the Muslim Student Association (MSA), told Daily 49ER, the university’s news website, on Sunday, December 2. “We’re regular people just like anyone else.”

The event, held last Thursday on a rainy afternoon, was sponsored by students of MSA at California State University Long Beach (CSULB).

Standing to welcome students, MSA students suggested hijab handout as an attempt to educate CSULB students about Islam that has received criticism and negative press over years.

Hasan said that being a Muslim and wearing a hijab are oftentimes associated with terrorism. “I always get stopped for a special screening at the airport, which can be frustrating,” Hasan said.

For her, the hijab handout was an attempt to correct misconceptions about Islam. “People think we’re all terrorists,” Hassan said. “In one occasion … my luggage accidentally bumped into a seat and people screamed out of fear thinking it was a bomb.”

Hasan added that just after this incident, her sister overheard one seated passenger express his gratitude as Hasan and her sister made their way to their seats, saying, “Thank God they’re sitting in the back.”

OnIslam, 3 December 2012