Muslim Mom to Woman Who Harassed Her on a Delta Flight: I Forgive You
By Carol Kuruvilla
A Muslim mom says she was harassed onboard a Delta Air Lines flight for wearing a hijab, and that Delta staff failed to come to her defense.
Darlene Hider, 32, says she wants an apology from the airline, but she's ready to forgive.
"This made me stronger," Hider told HuffPost. "Our faith teaches us to forgive, and I do."
Hider, a mother of four from Michigan, was traveling from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to Detroit on Monday when an unidentified woman reportedly began complaining that the children were being disruptive. Noticing Hider's headscarf, the woman turned toward the mom and allegedly said, "This is America!"
Hider said she immediately thought, "So this is what [Islamophobia] feels like."
"It was really difficult to be belittled and spoken down to because someone saw a piece of cloth on my head," Hider said. "And it was so hurtful for my kids to watch."
Hider started wearing the hijab about two years ago. Many women in her family choose not to wear the headscarf, and Hider says her husband never forced it on her. But when she began wearing it, she said, she felt an overwhelming sense of peace.
"Hijab is more than just covering your head. It's about covering your tongue, your heart, watching what you say," Hider said. "It's about being a beautiful woman on the inside and showing that's what counts. I didn't need anyone to make me happy anymore, because I'd found that connection with God."
Still, she was aware from the beginning that she could face discrimination.
"Every day, I walk out of my door in my hijab thinking, 'Is this the day?' Well, Monday was that day," Hider told HuffPost.
Her brother, Abed Ayoub, is the legal director of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, an organization that advocates on behalf of Muslims.
Using the plane's Wi-Fi, Hider's husband informed Ayoub about what was happening. Ayoub then live-tweeted the incident. - The Huffington Post