Last year at Christmastime, Rehan Seyam, a Muslim living in New Jersey, went to pick up some things at a local Wal-Mart. Seeing her distinctive traditional Muslim head covering called a “hijab”, a man in the store, addressing her directly, sang “The 12 Days of Christmas” using insulting lyrics about terrorism and Osama bin Laden.
She was stunned. “Do I look like a terrorist to you?” Seyam said she asked the man. According to Seyam, the man replied, “What else does a terrorist look like?”
Such stories are not altogether uncommon for Muslim Americans. According to a recent poll by the Pew Research Center, 53 percent of Muslims living in America said it has become more difficult to be a Muslim in the United States since the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Fifty-one percent said they are “very worried” or “somewhat worried” that women wearing the hijab are treated poorly, according to the poll.