Montreal Gazette : Why I wear the hijab: ‘I want people to really hear me and really see me’

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« Five Montreal Muslim women speak about Quebec’s political climate, why they wear the hijab and how their choice is not incompatible with feminism.

Nadia Naqvi, 36, science teacher at Beaconsfield High School

On why she wears the hijab:

“That’s actually the one question we as hijabis get asked the most. And if we don’t have, what we call a quote-unquote stock answer, I don’t think it’s doing our hijab justice. So when I first started wearing it I was 15. And my idea for wearing it when I was 15 was different than it is today, which is 20 years later. I wear it Number 1, first and foremost, because it is part of my religion … The second reason that I wear it, it’s a code for me. It makes me measure the way I walk, the way I talk, the way I think, the way I spend my money, the way I form my relationships — everything. Modesty is very important for me because it encompasses a lot of my life. Thirdly, and this is the reason I first started wearing it when I was a teenager, is I want people to look at me and really hear me and really see me, rather than the colour of my skin, which is the first thing that people see or the shape of my body or the length of my hair. I take a three-pronged approach, really.” »
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