Martha DeVries, Baptist woman in Missouri, wears hijab in solidarity

March 21, 2016

To protest the anti-Muslim rhetoric of the election season, high school counselor Martha DeVries of North Kansas City, Missouri, is wearing a hijab every Monday until the end of the school year in May.

DeVries, 47, who at­tends a Baptist church, said she felt a responsibility to display her ac­ceptance of Mus­lims. DeVries was also in­spired by a sermon her pastor preached on making a difference.

“It’s really easy to be a Christian in the United States; lots of people share my faith,” she said. “What’s a headscarf? It’s three yards of material. That should not separate me from someone whose humanity is so much like mine.”

She has become Facebook friends with Muslim people around the world.

DeVries reports that some critics have asked, “Don’t you think you are perpetuating this really ultraconservative, degrading view of women by wearing a hijab?” She responds that her friends who wear hijabs are by no means subservient. “They are very strong, independent women who choose to cover their heads as part of their faith,” DeVries said. “I don’t feel like it’s because they feel intimidated to do that.” —Religion News Service

This article was edited on April 12, 2016.