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Ibtihaj Muhammad Turns Bullying Experiences Into New Children’s Book

Olympic fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad has turned bullying experience at a young age to a children’s book, showing little girls it was okay to wear hijabs to school, WBUR reported.

“I hope that they see themselves in this work,” Muhammad said, adding that the book teaches other children to “celebrate one another despite our differences.”

Muhammad’s new book, titled: “The Proudest Blue: A Story of Hijab and Family”, looks at a common childhood experience — the first day of school.

It tells the experience of two sisters, Faizah and Asiya, on the first day of the school year. This day is very special because older sister Asiya will be wearing a beautiful blue hijab to school for the first time.

Ibtihaj Muhammad Turns Bullying Experiences Into New Children's Book - About Islam

Author and Olympic medalist Ibtihaj Muhammad (Courtesy of Hachette Book Group, Inc.)

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As a kid growing in the suburbs of New York City, Muhammad said her parents and siblings were one of the only Muslim families in town.

In elementary school, she had to explain what a hijab was to classmates, something she described as “quite a heavy load to carry” at such a young age.

“At that age, you want to fit in,” she said.

Children Books

The book is not the first to try to fill the void in the market.

Last July, Samira Hamana, a certified life coach from Edmonton, published her first children’s book to help children and their parents counter bullying.

In addition, Hudda Ibrahim from St Cloud, Minnesota, wrote a new book in September 2019  to empower young Muslim girls and normalize the hijab.

In Australia, the second edition of the Muslim detective heroine series, Ayesha Dean, was officially released in May 2019 under the title ‘Seville Secret’.

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