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Canadian Hijabi Gym-goer Shares Heartwarming Story of Support, Solidarity

A hijabi Muslim resident of Metro Vancouver has shared a touching story of how fellow athletes supported her at the gym.

As a regular attendant of Club16 Trevor Linden Fitness’ South Surrey location, Sana Zehra knows her way inside the gym.

As soon as she enters the women-only area, she takes her hijab off and switch to her gym attire.

📚 Read Also: New Film Explores Why Muslim Women Choose Hijab

The touching moment came when she was on the treadmill when a woman rushed to tell her that a male worker was coming in.

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Zehra hadn’t heard the announcement as she was listening to a podcast through her headphones.

“We’re not from the same religious beliefs. But they knew. And they were so aware and they respected my religion,” Zehra told Daily Hive.

“I told the woman, ‘I’m really thankful and I don’t have words to explain how good I feel for the fact you actually stopped working out and came to me.’”

As she was leaving, a second woman came up to her and said it wasn’t fair Zehra had to end her workout early.

“They took time out and came to me. It made me feel very confident,” she said. “And I felt like I’m being protected when I have such women surrounding me.”

More Solidarity

This isn’t the first time Zehra’s had other women come to her support since she moved to Canada.

At one incident, she took off her hijab in the employee break room at a retail in Toronto when a male colleague pushed the door open.

Zehra was moved after one of the women in the room with her leapt up before she could react, and asked the male coworker to wait a second before coming in.

“I told my parents, I called them and I said ‘I’ve never felt that respect of my hijab before,’” she said.

“It might be a small thing for other people, but I think people who do hijab know how valuable these things are… it made me feel very respected and very included.”

Islam sees hijab as an obligatory code of dress, not a religious symbol displaying one’s affiliations.

For Muslim women, wearing hijab is an act of worship as well as a way to practice modesty, a principle expected in the behavior and dress of all Muslims.