Immediately after Donald Trump was elected president, I decided to stop wearing my hijab. Despite facing constant Islamophobia over the 12 years I’ve worn a headscarf in America, nothing had ever compelled me to remove it before.
Until Election Day.
America’s next president is someone who’s openly targeted people like me by calling for a ban on Muslims entering the U.S., and suggesting we carry ID cards. For these reasons, I no longer feel safe at home.
But three days after Trump won the presidency, I was determined to get over my fear, and wore a blue flower-patterned hijab to my doctor’s appointment at a Miami hospital. As soon as I sat down in the waiting room, an older white man one seat away began staring at me. His penetrating eyes made me uncomfortable, but I continued to sit in silence.
Five minutes later, the man took out a pocket knife, opened it, and set it down on the empty seat between us. Terrified, I froze in place, just waiting to be stabbed. Read more.