Hijabs & Harassment is a “Know Your Rights” workshop for Seattle-area Muslim women. The workshop addresses hate-crimes and harassment that target women and girls who wear head-covering as well as provide info on what a hate crime is, what harassment is, and what to do if something happens.
Almost everyone in our community has a story to tell: racial slurs while walking down the streets, having their hijab pulled while on the bus, everyone talks of the UW Somali woman who was attacked with a bottle. The incidents are too many tell. Many tell us they are afraid that they or their children will be deported as they see their friends and families swept up by ICE right here in Seattle. This fear causes mothers to stay at home or if they have to go out, not to travel alone. We have been told by some mothers that they don’t even let their daughters out, the girls have to stay home. The toxic combination of trauma, poverty, isolation and fear leaves many with a total distrust of systems and authority. So when a crime does happen many women is too scared to report it. This leaves the women in our community victims of even more violence both internally and externally.
For these reason,we held four (4) Hijabs and Harassment workshops in West Seattle and South Seattle neighborhoods. Our speakers included Nimco Bulale from OneAmerica, Detective Elizabeth Wareing from Seattle Police Department’s Hate and Bias Department, Jake Hellenkamp from Seattle Neighborhood Group, and Officer Carrie McNally from Seattle Police Department.