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Hijab wearing Texas girl

Ms. Wall from Texas says,
'It makes me aware of God'

Texas Girl LOVES Her Hijab

Covered life gives her all new perspective...

Why? -
As a white woman from a small, West Texas town, Ms. Wall said, "I wanted to know what it would be like to be part of a “noticeable minority.

Spencer Wall, a 20-year-old sociology and English senior from Texas, decided to assume the characteristics and attire of a “typical” Muslim woman for a year starting in late April.

She wears the “hijab” and loose-fitting clothing everywhere she goes and does not consume pork or alcohol in public. She avoids eye and physical contact with men and has adopted modest habits like walking with her arms glued to her sides or crossed in front of her to hide her chest.

“I’m not representing Muslim women or the Muslim community,” she says. “I just want to know what it’s like to walk in their shoes for a while.”

She insists her decision is not a social experiment but, it is more about her personal learning experience.

I first noticed Spencer Wall in my religion and society class toward the end of last semester. She wasn’t particularly outspoken, but the shawl that covered her hair, neck and shoulders made her stand out in the large class.

I usually gave her nothing more than a completely unconscious glance. But when she revealed to the class the decision that she made on April 27, I suddenly became aware of the attention I gave her.

I witnessed the looks Wall gets on a daily basis when we met at Kerbey Lane on the Drag recently.

She’s wearing a hijab splashed with vibrant shades of green and blue. A long-sleeved, black shirt and floor-length aqua skirt reveals only a few inches of skin.

Some who pass us try to be inconspicuous with their intrigue, limiting themselves to quick side glances. But most don’t even try to be candid with their exaggerated double-takes or blatant stares.

She passes by a group waiting to be seated, and all of them stare at the back of her head as she walks away. One guy even rolls his eyes.

“It doesn’t surprise me,” she says when I tell her about the group. “But look around. They’re not the only ones.”

Initially, Wall elaborates on her “learning experience” when people would ask her questions, the most common being “So, where are you from?” She has abandoned these efforts. Now, when people ask about her attire, she simply says, "I'm not Muslim" but wears the hijab, "because I choose to do it".

hijab_on_chrisitansThis explanation is not entirely untrue, as Wall admits to not being able to leave her home without the clothing.

“I decided a while ago that I was going to try and not wear the hijab for 24 hours,” she says. “I couldn’t even make it for half that.”

Wall says she receives different reactions when she wears the hijab.

One man once fell into a display at Wal-Mart because he was staring at her.

One day a group of men at the restaurant where she works refused to be served by her. They also called her very nasty bad names.

But most of the time she said she is just respectfully avoided.

“I wouldn’t say guys don’t hit on me, but they do so in a very different way now,” she says. “It’s more respectful, less forward.”

The experience has taught Wall to pay attention to smaller details that would make a traditional Muslim lifestyle difficult to follow in the United States.

One day at a clothing store, Wall had to ask for a sheet to cover a gap between the floor and dressing room door so she could hide her bare legs as she changed.

Her job as a waitress presents one of the most awkward situations as it naturally entails a lot of physical contact with strangers, "That is just not permitted for Muslim women", she said.

Wall has grown to appreciate this sort of privacy and, in some ways, respect it.

Perhaps the most unexpected outcome of the experience is a newfound devotion to her belief in God.

The Islamic faith requires followers to pray five times a day, the first prayer being at 5 a.m.

Although she has not yet assumed the tradition of five times a day, she admits she may do so in the future, but she does pray a lot more often.

“You know we live in a society that is very unconscious of daily religious activities,” she said. “Throughout this experience, I have noticed myself becoming much more aware of God.”

Throughout our conversation, I find myself wanting to discuss the most obvious topic, but can’t bring it up without having to continually justify myself. Doesn’t she feel constricted and even oppressed by the practices she is assuming?

Wall’s candidness to discuss such issues validates my impression of her. She constantly reassures me to ask even the most probing questions and to present any debate, illustrating a maturity and intelligence uncommon for a 20-year-old.

“This experience has taught me to respect a woman’s decision to stay home with her children or wear a hijab or go out and become CEOs,” Wall said.

She finishes her sentence, as I notice a young woman staring at the back of Wall’s head.

Her eyes momentarily follow the outline of the brightly colored veil and then quickly move away. Instead of feeling sorry for Wall and assuming that the attention is warranted by feelings of resentment or fear, I soon wonder if the girl is instead intrigued by the hijab.

Wall admits to only showing her hair in the most intimate of settings, and I realize that I’m slightly jealous of someone who respects something I easily take for granted.

What are your thoughts?

Should she become a Muslim? Should she stop wearing hijab until she does? Can she just do her prayers, believe in God and keep wear hijab without being a Muslim?

Could she continue learning about Islam and take everything just one step at a time?

Leave a message (right here below) for her (and other Christian girls)!

Let her read it and think about what she is really doing, inshallah.

Tell any women you know about
(or did you know about it?)

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Last Updated (Saturday, 19 April 2014 10:41)



#124 Muzaffar J. Shah 2014-03-31 04:48
I really appreciate Ms.Wall for wearing proper Hijab, May GOD bless and guide her to Right Path. I am proud of her. If we dig the archives we see pictures of early Jews as well Christens women who immigrated to US along with their families we see they were covering their head with proper scarves as well they would wear loose clothing covering their bodies properly, unfortunately Hollywood changed the trends and we started following them and we can see were we are now. Clothing for women is getting lesser every passing day.....very sad.
My humble advise to Ms. Wall is to study religion of Islam from the right source, watch Peace TV, GuideUS TV, Huda TV and ask questions.
#123 Saraj Sarajevo 2013-12-23 12:55
May Allah swt guide you to the right path soon you are so close our sister, just open up your heart and with all our duas for you is going to be easy insha'Allah .Once you become a Muslim your life will change forever insha,Allah you will be so proud of your self.When my first daughter-in-law convert is was easy because she knew a lot about islam but my second daughter-in-law needs more time she said she will convert insha'Allah by April 2014 and i am going to help her as much as i can insha'Allah,may be you to need to talk to someone who knows and understand Islam.My best wishes my dear and I will make some duas for you and will be waiting your shahada insha"Allah soon!
#122 sk 2013-12-20 11:53
perhaps she should read the articles@ islamswomen & check out the other sites on shareislam.
#121 Aamir 2013-12-17 06:12
Peace to my sister in humanity! Sister, in Islam we have something we like to call 'fitrah' i.e. natural disposition. I believe your heart is clearly telling you that this is pleasing to your maker :-).. I can only say that I admire you and your decision genuinely..I will pray for God Almighty to guide you and suggest you pray to Him as well and ask for guidance and to show you the way to that which pleases Him best..You don't need to give Him any particular name you can just say " Oh my Creator, Guide me to the truth!" for example and HE is the Most Merciful who will never leave the prayer of a genuine person unanswered! God bless you with His guiding light and mercy!Ameen
#120 farah 2013-12-16 09:57
Allahu akbar ..... there is something in you that has not awakened. May Allah reward you for your modesty and call for u soon. Shehada will change your life for the better and Islam will show you the way to jannah
#119 Yusuf Estes 2013-12-16 09:03
Salam alaykum - This one really got to me. Imagine - She's NOT MUSLIM - But She Wears HIJAB?
A Texas girl finds "God" while wearing Islamic dress!
Now she prays more and says, "I can't go without it"
Write to her - leave your message!
And share this link for dawah for all the Muslims & non-Muslims, inshallah.
#118 scott 2013-12-02 10:03
Quite fascinating! I am an atheist and admittedly something of a cynic too, but I am nevertheless interested in what makes people believe, and how belief is expressed in culture, dress, art, architecture, literature... The Ancient Greeks understood that the sensual - and dare I say the erotic - was actually AUGMENTED by garments rather than DIMINISHED by them. The sculptor would often carve the most delecate drapery which both REVEALED and CONCEALED the human form. It is interesting that in a nudity-obsessed 20th/21st century the human body is often, in reality, more sensually beautiful and erotic in the mystery of concealment than in brazen nakedness. It is the 'denial' which paradoxically engages our imaginations. (Has anyone ever been on a nudist beach? It can be a very dismal and un-erotic experience!). Yesterday I was at an airport and a Muslim man passed me, wearing a simple thobe, with his chador-attired wife with him - and I confess I immediately was aware of the quiet aesthetics of his appearance and his wife's beauty, accentuated by the simple black garment and her pretty face framed in fine black fabric in much the same way as a christian nun might be attired. But there was no inclination to invade the "visual space" the woman and her husband shared - I noticed, and respected their attractiveness, and respected and appreciated it. I should mention to that there was no bleak oppressiveness about them either - her face was open, pretty and happy, and I could sense they were very much in love!

The pro's and con's of hajib, chador etc are deeply personal and need to be understood and respected. Our response to the cultural and religious dress of others certainly reveals more about our own myopic world view and our own insecurities about 'the different Other' than we like to admit. I am against coercion in all its forms - but we in the west too easily forget how women are coerced by our fashion industry's often ludicrous products which women feel obliged to follow in order to find acceptance. Our double-standard s are silly. We find christian monks and priests in their robes (scapulars, habits, rasons etc) and nuns in their coifs, veils and underskirts somehow acceptable yet we reject islamic dress. I am a caucasian male living in Africa - and I delight in the variety of garments one sees here - Nigerians in their kutungu'u, the colourful dresses and headdress of Zulu women, the remarkable dresses and headdress of the Himba of Namibia. We in the west believe ourselves to be the bearers of Enlightenment philosophy yet we forget how "strange" the garments of our own culture a mere hundred years ago would seem to us now! Tolerance is the key. And the capacity to enjoy the rich diversity of our fellow human beings.
#117 Stephanie Edit from first Message since cut off 2013-10-23 10:01
adviser from Qatar told me: be happy that they look at you, perhaps you reflect faith and it awakens them.ever since i feel confident and act on my best outside.Exp=whe n i see a person having less items behind me by the grocery store, i ask them to go ahead, they are always shocked that its coming from a muslim woman and they keep smiling afterwards and wishing me good day.hijab for me is the first symbol of worshipping Allah and hopefully to show others the 'other' side of life
#116 Stephanie 2013-10-22 13:14
As a convert wearing headscarve, i did notice that people looked at me more than before and it did disturb me, i had on the first two months issues about taking it off just to make those glances stop. But until an islamic adviser from Qatar told me :
#115 batya 2013-07-16 12:00
I like Hijabs very much. I am convinced in the bible, so it works together very well - 1.Cor.11 was written not to Cor. allone, but to all believers (Ch.1) - Well, I cover and wear modest clothing, but not as the perfect Hijab-"style" tells you (Muslims). I am the only one in our church, who likes covering. Heehee, I dream of going somewhere and wearing Hijab! My husband likes my "jewish" style, but he would mind me wearing hijab the isla.way.

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