Nafisa, University of London

“For me as a young Muslim woman,  role models and my hijab journey, the two are very interconnected. Growing up in a secular society, you question your role in society as a woman and your role in society as a Muslim, and to go through some of the, almost the paradoxes that you think, or the contradictions that you think you’re positioned in, its quite wrong, because I am a woman and I am Muslim. I am not either or. Its not like am I black and then am I separately categorised as being Muslim. This can be quite confusing when I was growing up. I think I started with questions surrounding, what are my rights as a Muslim woman. You hear so much negative rhetoric, and you say, no this is not the way I want to be represented. So let me try and find, let me research, my Islamic history and find a spiritual connection from this. And I think going back to the time of the Sahabahs, that was a time that was truly inspiring for me, and if you go back further than that, to the likes of Asiya, Maryam, its absolutely inspirational and that was life changing for me. I was 15 years old and that was when I decided to wear the hijab, because it wasn’t a political act, it was much deeper than that for me. I think its important for people to understand that.”


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