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July 28, 2017

Two Muslim refugee women from Iraq talk about the decision whether or not to wear the hijab

The hijab, a headscarf worn by some Muslim women, is full of religious, cultural and political meaning. In this video, sisters Hiba Alsabonge and Jasmine Alsabunji, Muslim refugees from Iraq now living in Erie, Pa., talk about the politics of the hijab and how their thinking about the hijab has changed over time.

Jasmine said she initially chose to wear it in part because all the women in her community wore it. Others wear it to feel more pious and some do so to escape getting harassed, stalked and possibly assaulted by men. “But when I come here, nobody even going to bother you or stop you or say anything. You look so normal with hijab, without hijab, so that’s why I started searching about it,” she said.


This video was originally featured as a part of the Washington Examiner’s series The Race to 2020: The people and places that will define a presidency. You can read more about Erie County, see more videos, or use the form below to get email updates about future updates.

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