Some women in Kano State have stopped wearing hijabs to avoid being suspected of being suicide bombers.
This trend arose as a result of the sudden spate of suicide bombings carried out by young, Muslim teenage girls in Kano and other Northern regions last month, The News reports.
The bombings are said to have incited fear in the minds of people whenever they are around women wearing hijabs.
“I no longer wear my hijab because people now see any young woman in hijab as a potential suicide bomber because of the recent incidents. I now put on my shawl (headscarf) when I go out pending the time the city gets over the trauma of this frightening trend,” said 17-year-old Hajara Musa.
Musa also recounts an incident when she was prevented from entering a supermarket because of her attire.
Similarly, another woman, Samaila Abdussalam revealed that women wearing niqab, (which covers the whole face except the eyes), draw even more fears and suspicions.
Hafsat Yaya, also shared her experiences, stating “I have stopped carrying a handbag around because of the suspicion it raises. I now carry a small purse wherever I go.”
According to an AFP report, some men in Kano have expressed fears about being around women in hijabs.
One of such men is Bala Dawud.
“I shudder with fear when I find myself next to a young woman in hijab because she could be a suicide bomber,” he said.
Dawud recounted an incident when people on a queue at an ATM machine dispersed suddenly because a woman wearing a hijab joined the queue, asking if the machine was functioning properly.
“As soon as she was told yes, she pulled out her mobile phone and called someone, telling him she had found a machine dispensing cash and before you knew it the whole crowd dispersed, leaving the woman alone,” he said.
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It is sad that the actions of a few people have led to the profiling of an entire group of people.