A college student in Ontario, Canada recently engaged in a social study intended to elicit hatred from individuals opposed to Islam. Anisa Rawhani, though not a Muslim, donned the faith’s traditional head covering known as the hijab and visited numerous destinations in the community for about two and a half weeks.
“The desire came from wanting to understand better,” she said, “because there is so much tension around the idea of covering. I wanted to understand why women in Islam cover and also how it can actually be difficult in our culture to be covering.”
Judging from her own experience, however, it doesn’t seem that Westerners provide an inhospitable environment to covered Muslim women after all.
Writing about the experiment in the Queens University newspaper, she explained that she was not met with derision or intolerance from non-Muslims. Quite the contrary, Rawhani explained, she was greeted by others with much more civility than when she went out without the Islamic veil.
“At first I thought I was just imagining things,” she said in an interview after the experiment concluded. “There’s no way this is actually happening.”
Rawhani described “this excess” of kindness from others in the community “that threw me for a loop.”
When accompanied by friends without any religious garb, she reportedly received a disproportionate amount of positive attention from others.
“I went with my hijab and people were very nice,” she said. “People were polite, parents would shake my hand, so the experience was all across the board in Kingston.”
Despite the fact that her experience contradicted her supposition, Rawhani used her results to suggest that people are inherently intolerant of Muslims.
“It can be that someone actually does harbor racist tendencies but doesn’t want to look racist to others so they overcompensate in that way,” she claimed. In other cases, she posited, individuals are trying to keep their biases in check by looking for opportunities to show minorities hospitality.
Unfortunately, Rawhani is apparently not satisfied unless the results of her experiment match her hypothesis. For others, however, her study can be seen as evidence that free citizens are by and large not intolerant of any specific race or faith – only individuals within any group who seek to destroy liberty.
Photo Credit: Facebook/Anisa Mercedes Rawhani
This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom