Bahiraa Abdul Rasheed is folding tall piles of scarves into perfect rectangles, preparing them to hang on a thousand hangers around The Islamic Place, a shop in Philadelphia. She's wearing a scarf - a Muslim head covering called a hijab - in a blend of greens, yellows and tans.
I always comforted myself thinking those people were in the minority; to me the open-minded people far outweighed the bigots. Then, February 10 happened. For the first time in my life, my life had less value than a white life.
While I strongly support more and better media representations of Muslims, Sikhs, members of the LGBT community, older women and people of color, I'm not about to commend H&M here. For one, their most prominent ads still tend to feature unnaturally thin white women.
I'm going to pursue my dreams in the hopes that some day soon, the world will not second-guess, doubt, or make judgments on my identity. I am going to own my complexity, my love of America, and my love of the religion that has been a guiding buoyancy in the toughest of times.
I discovered that I am to pay the price for expressing myself. I am to pay the price for following a certain religion. I am to pay the price for donning the hijab. I am to pay the price because Arab plus Muslim plus hijab does not equal a true "American" identity.
I was dressed for my usual invisibility: a pale pink, long-sleeved t-shirt, jeans, and brown sneakers that suggest, falsely, a hiker mentality. I'm headed to Meijer, and I'm certain that nobody's even going to see me.
Iran is changing. The behavior of the people today would have not been tolerated 35 years ago in the immediate post-Revolutionary period. The cumulative effect of these behavioral and cultural changes is a transformation of Iranian society that will likely never be reversed.
Muslims are not a majority, but we're definitely here. We're your average Americans, getting educated, working and contributing to society...or not. You probably go to work or school with a Muslim whether you realize it or not. We don't all wear our religion on our sleeves (or heads).
The Seventh-day Adventist Church -- with a more than century-long track record of defending religious freedom and the rights of religious minorities -- early on recognized the critical religious liberty implications central to this case.
It is becoming increasingly acceptable to hold anti-Muslim prejudice, which, apparently, the flight attendant held, took for granted and felt a fair amount of comfort in publicly displaying, as did those passengers who turned on Ms. Ahmad.
In an 8-1 decision the United States Supreme Court ruled in favor of a hijab-clad woman who had been denied a job by Abercrombie & Fitch (A&F) based on its "look policy" (which has since been redefined by the company).