My grandmother wore hijab. I remember watching her prostrate so full of faith to her God that she loved so much. I remember sometimes holding her scarves and putting them up to my nose because I loved her perfume. I remember brushing her long hair that she wore in a braid down her back. I remember she always had tazbeeh in her hands, and God’s name on her tongue.
My Bibi Shireena Zahrah Wardak passed away years ago. But today, for some reason, I imagined her walking down Parthenia Blvd., near the last home we all lived in together. And I imagine our neighbors, juvenile delinquents living together in a half-way house. For being former convicts, they were extremely friendly to myself and my family.
As impressionable young men, would they have been so nice in today’s world? Where women in hijab are literally assaulted everyday in this “Land of the Free, Home of the Brave”?
In the most bittersweet way, I’m happy my Bibi Shireena Aday isn’t alive today. Because anytime she walked out that door in her beautiful hijab, I would be terrified to find her hurt.
Islamophobia is a choice.