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A Rite of Passage

Muslim women say they made their own choice to wear hijab
By Dave Mekelburg, Daily News Editor on 10/23/07

When LSA sophomore Iman Sediqe stopped at a rural Wisconsin gas station during a family road trip, the two people working the counter openly stared at and talked about her as if she wasn't standing there. They talked about the headscarf, or hijab, that she wears as part of her Muslim faith.

Some Muslim women begin covering their hair and much of their body when they reach maturity. When exactly that is, however, is up to interpretation. For some, this means reaching puberty. For others, it means waiting until they're finally comfortable making a decision that may make them stand out.

What might be a much easier decision in a predominantly Muslim area or country is a much larger undertaking in Ann Arbor.

Yet, in Ann Arbor, while Sediqe says she might get the occasional lengthy glance, the University population is much more accepting of her choice to wear something that openly declares her a Muslim than many other parts of the country or the world.

"People are so much more excited when they see diversity," she said.

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