I remember exactly all the thoughts that ran through my mind, when I first decided to do an interview with Sky News. I wanted to change the immediate thoughts we usually have when we see a veiled woman. “She’s from another country, she’s oppressed, furthermore she’s clearly unintelligent!
As the interview began I took a deep breath and made my intention. All I wanted to achieve, was to defend something that had given me spiritual gratification like no other experience.
I decided to look at the media attention about this topic differently. Rather than imagine a bunch of people out to attack me and manipulate the image of ‘the veil’, I looked at the attention as been an opportunity to feed people’s appetite for knowledge and understanding about something that appeared so alien to a community.
Shaista Gohir and Shaheen Ashraf from the Muslim Women’s Network were inundated with phone calls asking for comments about the topic. After learning about my views they happily started putting various media opportunities my way. And in a short space of time, I embarked on a media crash course that would very quickly help me realise that my naivety would soon be gobbled up and spat out by certain media groups that meant no good for me.
After 2 months of exhausting any opportunity to honour my intention I now sit back and look at what has unfolded. I feel the need to mention so many people who really looked past my confidence and saw that behind the scenes I was spiritually and emotionally starting to feel the weight of this all.
Unity FM, Rukhs, Hannah and Andli Litt, Shaista Gohir, Anisa Kissoon, Shaheen Ashraf, Najma Hafeez, Sharon Thompson, BBC Sunday Morning Live Samiyra Ahmed, Huffington Post, Independant newspaper, Channel 4 Darshna Soni, Gavin, Sky News, Marie Claire Magazine, Arshia Riaz, Ruchi WM Radio, Mehdi Hassan from Al Jazeera TV and finally the Dutch Film crew who are working on a 50 min Documentary that gives an intimate look into who I am!
In the end I realise that if you don’t stand up for what you believe in, no one will.
Please see the link below to see my media interviews: