The United States Constitution allows individuals to practice any religion they choose. However, the austerity of this right is tested when an individual’s belief is publicly displayed. For Muslim women wearing the hijab, or headscarf, the intersection between private religious practice and its social expression is explored on a daily basis. To fully understand the manifestation of public religious expression, this paper examines a series of interviews with 35 hijab-wearing Muslim women living in the United States. By exploring the lived experiences of Muslim-American women, this paper highlights the broader issues of the media’s influence on perceptions of Muslim culture, the complex and often unclear legality of religious symbols in the workplace, and the barriers that exist for hijab-wearing women in the workplace. With the rise of Islamophobia, the participants found a stronger sense to exert their right to express their religious identities. Moreover, the women interviewed demonstrate their agency by continuing to embrace their religious practice despite intersecting forms of discrimination.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited