Respect Us, Take off your Hijab

During one of the rare times where I had time to chat with my mum, she said to me, "I know you've converted and all, and we respect you for that, but as a form of respect for us, can you not wear your hijab when we're around?"

"You can take it off in the lift before you come into the house. You can, can't you? Or wear it when you are outside of the house."

Many of my friends know that I've kept off wearing my hijab permanently because of my family. I've only recently mustered up enough courage to wear it even upon entering the house, previously I would take it off before I entered.

And every time my mum saw me with my hijab, she would refrain from talking to me until I took it off. If my dad saw, he'd shoot me one of those looks (because he doesn't talk to me anyway).

I told her I'd eventually wear it all the time. And even during Chinese New Year or other family gatherings. If they cannot accept me wearing my hijab, then I'd rather not turn up. It's really simple actually.

I wish I'd told her about Mary the mother of Jesus/ Isa. How she also wore the hijab. Isn't she shown everywhere wearing it, even in paintings, statues of her? I wish then and there I had pointed at the statue of her on the altar at home. I wish I'd said, "How is Mary the mother of Jesus any different? How is it that you can respect her so much, yet you don't respect me?"

But at that moment I was too shocked to even say anything. Sometimes, you hear things other converts say, but you don't expect it to happen to yourself, and when it does, the blow is pretty hard.

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