Taken by surprise

Behind the Screen

Last week I wrote about how I get questioned by Muslims on whether I’m Muslim or not, despite wearing hijab.

Well as soon as I wrote about it a few more things happened. Maybe I’m just noticing these things more than I usually do because I’m writing about it. It’s kind of like when you buy something new and then notice everyone around you has the same thing, but if you hadn’t bought it you never would have noticed.

So, I was in a cab riding to an audition and the guy inside says, “So I noticed you’re wearing the veil. Is that because you’re Muslim?”

“Yep”, I answered.

At the time I was like “You have got to be kidding me.. I just went through this a few days ago!” lol. But then he started to tell me about himself and how his mother was from Spain and his father from Morrocco. I listened and we chatted for a few minutes about his visits to Spain and how he loved it there. I guess he was just trying to find a way to start a conversation.

A few hours later I met up with my husband and the kids and went for a walk downtown. As I’m telling him this story about the cab driver, this random tourist-looking guy stops us.

“Excuse me, can I ask you a question?”

I had a feeling the question was going to be about hijab.

“Why does she have to dress like that and you don’t have to?” The guy asked looking at my husband and not me.

He was directing his question at my husband which caught me off guard.

My husband was not amused and glared at the tourist-looking guy”Do you have time?”

The man looked at him and was speechless. Apparently he wasn’t really looking for a response. “Umm.”

My husband continued, “Because I don’t have time.”

And then we kept on walking.

I could tell my husband was a little shaken up from the experience, but I told him that I was not surprised at all. It’s typical to have someone harrass you when you walk around with a scarf on your head. I wonder if people from other backgrounds have this happen to them to? For example a nun, or a Budhist or even a Sikh. Then there are those that wear mowhawks or dye their hair in crazy colors. Do they get stopped on the street and asked why they dress the way they do?