I am not even a Muslim, yet I am forced to wear the hijab.

I explained to them how I wanted to take off my hijab. 3 times, politely, I even sobbed and cried in their presence. “It upsets me dad.” I told him. “Doesn’t matter. It’s more important that you cover yourself.” he told me. I realized then that this would not work. I got up in the morning, and quietly did my hair. “I’m leaving dad.” I told him. He saw my hair, “You aren’t going anywhere. Sit down.” he told me. I couldn’t resist, it had taken me so much effort just to gather the courage to face him. I did not go to school that day.

My mom’s and dad’s threats that they would make me drop out of school forced me to forget the idea of taking my hijab off. They couldn’t tell me “We cursed the people who took their hijab off, we stopped talking to a relative just because she took her hijab off; now if you take yours off others will talk behind our backs and curse us, you can’t do it because what others think is more important than you”; so they told me “Allah will count it as a sin to us that we didn’t make you cover your yourself.” instead. Though they know it’s nothing of the sort.

I am not even a Muslim, yet I am forced to wear the hijab. Every day I think of it and I cry. I can’t even wear the t-shirt I want without covering it with something else first. I am sick of putting so much effort into making sure no one can see my hair. I don’t feel like a free person, not that am I free in the first place. I’m a 10th grader now and I have decided to wait until I am 18 to take off my hijab, so that even if they threaten to cut my allowance and kick me out of the house I can earn my own living. How wonderful, 3 more years of sadness and curses daily.

(Image: Kerry Phippen)

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