The first time my friend Nour appeared in public without her scarf, a neighbor commanded her to put it on. When she refused, he grew enraged. “Then you are no longer Muslim!” he called out after her as she continued down the street.
The year: 2008
The place: New York’s ultra-hip East Village.
But when Canadian human rights activist Yasmine Mohammed removed her hijab during a 2004 visit with her mother in Vancouver, Canada, the fury was even greater. “That was the day,” she recalled recently, “when my mother threatened to kill me.”
Now, with worldwide demonstrations planned on Friday to celebrate Muslim women who choose to wear the hijab, Mohammed is leading a protest, instead, in support of those who don’t.