Today was a rather mixed bag for me. On the one hand, most of my university friends were very friendly towards me and treated me in exactly the same manner as they have done, but on the other hand ... some people were a bit more open with their discrimination.
My partner and I were getting the bus home from university between my morning lecture and my seminar (the first hijab was worn to my morning lecture and the second one was worn to my seminar) and there happened to be a woman standing in the aisle with her two young children. The bus pulled in to our stop and I went to get off after my partner. As he walked off, the lady didn't move her children, but as I got off the bus, she pulled her children away. And it wasn't just a case of moving them slightly out of the way - she literally yanked her children out of my path as if I were carrying a weapon.This really upset me because she had no reason to move her children. They were not in my way, and I was not in theirs. There was, in fact, enough room to fit two people in that aisle, so why she felt the need to drag her children away from me is beyond me.
After my seminar, I came home and did a quick check of my article, youtube video and post on the World Hijab Day page on Facebook. Whilst most of the comments were positive, a few of them were truly horrible. One person posted "that looks like a man not a woman" and someone else went on a ranting rampage about how I could not possibly understand how people feel and how I should try being somebody with a disability or with black skin. One other woman, whose point I can understand, asked me if the reason that I noticed how many people looked at me was because I was counting.
Let me clarify this once and for all for everyone out there who wants to be rude to me. I am doing this because my friend asked me to support World Hijab Day. I did not do this to upset anybody, anger anybody or receive abuse for stating my opinion. I wrote about my experiences and was very hurt to think that complete strangers would be so rude to me. These people don't know me, and never will, and yet they feel that a keyboard makes them immune. My first thought was "how dare you say such things about me?" and then I sat and calmed down. My thoughts now are that these people are sad, lonely people who say such things because they think that a keyboard makes them untouchable.
I am going to continue to wear my hijabs that I bought from www.myscarfshop.com and am even considering buying a few more! I am also going to start reading an English translation of the Qur'an, as I want to learn more about Islam (and I thought that the Qur'an would be as good a place as any to start!).
So that was my day - most people were lovely to me and were willing to talk to me, look at me and even get to know me, but sadly some others were not. It's a shame that such people exist, but insh'Allah they will see how futile and infantile their actions are. They will not stop me from wearing the hijab or writing about my experiences, and nor will they make me feel upset or ashamed of myself. I am stronger than they are, and I know that I am doing this for the right reasons.