The Teens And the Veil

May 6, 2010

Author: Yonat Shimron

Source: The News & Observer

In a room at the Islamic Association of Raleigh, teenage Muslim girls sitting around a table rattle off the questions they field daily about their religious head covering:

"Are you bald?"

"It's like a hundred degrees out. Aren't you hot?"

"Do you wear it when you're sleeping?"

"Do you wear it in the shower?"

"Is that a towel on your head?"

"Do you have cancer?"

Fellow teens can be insensitive, even cruel. So when two Duke University undergraduates studying Islam asked Muslim girls what they wanted to talk about, they were more than eager to clear up misconceptions about the veil.

"It's a big part of their life, and they don't get a chance to share it," said Betsy Bourassa, a junior at Duke who spent several weekends interviewing the teens, shopping for clothes with them and videotaping them participating in sporting events.