Hijab ‘special’ given warm beat welcome

Rukshana BegumA special constable who is the first officer in Cambridgeshire to wear a Muslim hijab on duty is receiving a warm welcome on the beat. Rukshana Begum, 23, who was featured in the News after deciding to wear the headscarf, said the reaction from the public has been “confidence-boosting”.

She said: “I have had so many members of the general public saying it’s really good to see someone doing this and representing their group. People are also saying good luck and I hope it goes well. When I went on duty without the hijab I got ordinary looks, but now people recognise me from the newspaper and have congratulated me. When they say ‘all the best’ and ‘good luck’ it boosts your confidence.”

She said: “I never thought I would get any negative response. Even if I was to think hard, I could not think of why the general public would want to be negative. As I expected, people have been really welcoming and have accepted it. Britain is a multi-racial and multi-religious society now.”

Cambridge Evening News, 16 July 2007