This 27-year-old just made American history!
On February 8, Tahera Rahman made history as the first TV reporter in America to wear a hijab on air.
It was the first on-air broadcast Rahman presented for WHBF, a television station in Illinois and Iowa, America.
She is the first full-time broadcast TV reporter in America to wear a hijab on air.
Prior to her appearance on screen, Rahman, had worked at the station for about two years as a producer.
American Muslim reporter wears hijab on air
It had always been a dream of hers to be in front of the cameras. However, many had told her that America wasn’t ready to see a hijab-wearing news anchor.
Not willing to let naysayers deter her from her dream, when the role for an on-air reporting job at WHBF opened up, she applied and landed the job.
“I knew that I was going to do what it took to be ready for that role; to be the perfect candidate for the job,” she tells TODAY in an interview.
After the history-making broadcast, messages from people all over the world came pouring in to offer their words of encouragement.
“It’s been so incredible,” Rahman says. “People from Mexico, Sweden, Eastern Europe are telling me that they all stand behind me and are cheering me on.”
Unfortunately, she has also received a lot of hate online.
“I’m sorry they are living with so much hatred in their hearts,” she continues in her interview. “I hope that one day they can see me for what I see them: A friendly neighbour who is working hard, just like thousands of other everyday Americans, to achieve their goals and make their communities a better place in some small way.”
One of the most common misconceptions about Muslim women is that those who wear hijabs are oppressed. But Rahman wants to change this view.
“Oppression is probably the biggest misconception,” she says. “I think many people don’t realise that in Islam, although the hijab is something you wear when you come of age, it’s also actually forbidden for someone to force you to wear it. It has to be your choice. And if a woman makes that choice, it also doesn’t mean she’s ‘extreme.'”
“There’s no reason your hijab should be a barrier,” she adds. “Just because someone, or multiple people, might tell you so, doesn’t make it true.”
Other Muslim women making waves with their hijab
Muslim women wearing their hijab have been making waves all over the world in recent years. One of the most famous singer-songwriters in the world, Yuna, wears her headscarf proudly as a Malaysian Muslim woman in the United States.
L’Oréal Paris Elvive has also recently made history by casting a hijab-wearing model in their latest haircare campaign.
Last year, 19-year-old Halima Aden became the first ever hijab-wearing model to be on the cover of American women beauty magazine, Allure.
In 2016, Ibtihaj Muhammad became the first Muslim woman athlete competing for America to wear hijab during the Rio Olympics.
What do you think of this reporter who has chosen to stick to her faith and wear her hijab on air? Let us know in the comments.
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