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I have stressed how sisters who cover-up fully can be intellectual, and highly educated. But they can also be very brave as well.. The following is a true story of an incident that happened to my good friend Sister Saajidah.
Although we have never met, I have always admired her determination and strength of ema'an.
She was one of the very first sisters to actively use the Net for Dawah and she has formed many active and very worthwhile groups and clubs for sisters since.
As a young mother, I have deeply admired how she has guided and advised sisters in so many fields from home schooling to 'proper hijab'.
Sister Amina

 

 

In The Name Of Allah, The Beneficent, The Merciful

"THE INCIDENT"

By
Saajidah Mahmood

On the Saturday evening of August 29, 1998, I (Saajidah Mahmood) went to Walgreens, a local store in my grandmother's neighbourhood, to get my children some diapers and milk. I am a Muslim woman out of many who wears the proper hijaab, which consists of the total face being covered, my hands, feet, and entire body in total black.


The security guard of Walgreens store saw me come into the store and allowed me to walk throughout the store shopping for my merchandise. When it was my turn to pay for my items at the cashier's register, the security guard approached me in a very hostile manner saying "Do you speak English? Do you speak English?" He yelled this twice in my face. 

I did not say anything at first because I knew that there was about to be some major drama, and I needed to think about what I was going to say to this man and what would be his reaction. 


So he started yelling in my face that "I was to take that mask off right now!" I told him that "I am a Muslim woman, and that I am required by my religion to cover every inch of my body to outside men whom are not my husband." 


At this, the security guard become more furious with me, and he told me that "I was to take that mask off my face immediately and that if I did not then he was going to throw me out of the store!"


So of course I am becoming a bit afraid. My hands in my gloves grew sweaty, and I became immediately very hot under my garments. But Subannallah! I held my ground firmly, and I told the security guard again " I have explained to you the purpose of my covering and that I REFUSE to remove my veil for any man outside of my husband and male relatives!!!!!!!!!"


At this point I turned towards the cashier and told her that I wanted to speak to the supervisor. I was told that he was not in. So I asked to speak to the manager. So the manager came out of the back of the store. He came walking towards me as if he were ready to listen to my complaint. But sure enough, the security guard intersected the manager from coming directly to me by jumping in front of me and pulling the manager to the side saying to him quietly with a slight laugh that "I am just doing my job!" 


When I tried to get the manager's attention, he just walked away from me only repeating what the security officer had told him. I was now extremely angry! and I started walking behind the manager asking him for a copy of the policy of Walgreens stating that "any customer who comes into a Walgreens store with a concealed identity would have to remove it. The manager said "I do not have any policy." But he told me this with his back turned, not even acknowledging my rights as a customer. 


The security guard was still standing behind me with his stick raised in the air, over my head as if he wanted to hit me while I was talking to the manager. I turned around and I told him that "I will see you in court sir for religious harassment!" "And for Discrimination!" Then he started yelling at me "get out of my store."  asked him for a phone so that I could call the real police to make out a harassment complaint. and the security guard told me to "get out" and "go look for a phone!" So, I did purchase my merchandise while the security guard was standing with his stick over me, and I quickly grabbed my 7 year old daughter by the arm,(whom was also dressed in a little Khimar and Jordanian style jilbab) by the arm and I walked outside to the pay phone, from there I called the police, and they arrived at Walgreens in about 5 minutes. So, I explain to the real police what went down and he told me that this was a civil case and that I needed to take this to the courts. So Alhumdulilah I did just that! 

So, I rushed home and explained to my grandmother what happened to me, and she was so happy that I stood up for myself mashallah. So the next day I found this Islamic Police Brutality, and Discrimination hotline number, that I did call. And I spoke to a Muslim attorney , and the battle of the law suit was on!

The Walgreens store agreed to settle out of court and I won $3,000 settlement. Walgreens has agreed to do Islamic sensitivity training for all of their employees district  wide!