ITHACA, NY – A Cornell grad student says that she’s decided to stop wearing the hijab due to anti-Muslim sentiment being at an all time high.

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Hajer Al-Faham, a doctoral student in American and comparative politics at Cornell, wrote an opinion column in the Seattle Times explaining her decision.

Al-Faham wrote that she’s been wearing the hijab, a veil worn by some Muslim women, for the past 16 years. She explained that while she’s faced discrimination for her choice to wear the hijab in post-9/11 America, it has now reached a level where she fears for her safety.

“Over the course of the past few months, Muslim women in my social circle have been assaulted, mosques and Sikh temples have been defaced and Arab Americans have faced intensified and unwarranted surveillance,” she added.

Al-Faham attributes the rising hostility against Muslims in part to this year’s presidential campaign.

“The statements made by Donald Trump, in particular, encouraging the shutdown of mosques and the development of a database to track Muslim Americans have direct consequences for people like me,” she writes.

(Featured photo by Rana Ossama on Flickr.)

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Michael Smith

Michael Smith reports on politics and local news for the Ithaca Voice. He can be reached via email at, by cell at (607) 229-0885, or via Google Voice at (518) 650-3639.