Moorhead woman accosted over hijab

It’s not surprising — anymore — that a woman in Moorhead, Minn., was accosted at a grocery store by a man who objected to her wearing a hijab. The key element of WDAY’s story of the incident is this one: Bystanders did nothing.

“He was very close to me, and he was yelling very hard, very mad,” Fardoso Mohamed said.

Mohamed and her cousin, who filmed the encounter, say the incident is not unusual in the area.

“It was shock to me,” she said. “It’s like this guy, he have a lot of hate inside his heart.”

A Moorhead police spokesman said no laws were broken in the incident, according to WDAY.

  • Al
    • Rob

      Good tactic. Although I also like the idea of tasering the Islamophobe…

    • Kassie

      And this works for all kinds of street harassment, not just with Muslim women. Even if you aren’t sure what is going on, you can walk up to someone who seems to be being harassed and ask a simple questions like “has the bus been by?” or “do you have the time?” From there you can judge if continuing to talk is wanted.

      • Al

        Those are great starter questions. Thank you!

  • Mike Worcester

    I understand that what I’m about to ask could potentially unleash a torrent of negativity, but here it goes — What is it about a woman wearing a head covering that scares some people so badly they feel the need to react in such a manner? I’m genuinely curious for to me, it’s just a head scarf, which women have been wearing in many variations for centuries.

    • Jerry

      Because these “patriots” are only brave enough to bully women.

    • It’s always fear + ignorance, isn’t it?

      The hijab represents something to these cowards that they can’t comprehend (as religious tradition) or appreciate (as cultural identity). I’m guessing, as Jerry says, that these “brave” men would never bully a Scotsman wearing a “skirt”.

      • Rob

        Especially if said Scotsman had a very sharp sword.

        • More likely, bagpipes. 😉

          • Michael

            Even scarier that…. (Sorry, could not resist, I love the bagpipes.) 🙂

    • Michael

      I do not think it is the head covering at all. This is about them trying to protect their community from some vague feeling of danger that they cannot pin down. Maybe this “other” is scouting, or going to take away something my community needs, and how can this “other” possible understand the community and protect it the way we all should. And maybe if I help push them into the community “norms” they will love and protect it, they won’t be an “other” they will be part of “us” if I can just make them understand HOW IMPORTANT IT IS TO FIT IN with the community! (Also the reason they tend to get loud, they get worked up.)

      Remember this is the community they are carrying around inside, not the one they are living in, which probably hold a difference set of values, has a different set of needs and a completely different expectations on how members should act.

      • The hijab is the visual manifestation and representation of what it is “[those] trying to protect their community” fear, no matter how vague or irrational that fear is.

        So, yes. It is about the head covering. Then again, it is also, for some/many of these ignoramuses, about skin color, too. absent any head covering.

      • Jay T. Berken

        Would you ask me to remove this off my head in Minnesota to “help push them into the community “norms” they will love and protect it, they won’t be an “other” they will be part of “us” if I can just make them understand HOW IMPORTANT IT IS TO FIT IN with the community!”?

        • Michael

          “Of course I would. You know you should not wear Gang Identification in the store….you must be carrying a hidden gun….you are poor so you will be robbing me next….are you crips, blood, west coast peckerwood….”

          See…it is easy to mark practically anything as a dangerous tribe marking. That’s why we need people to step in and say things like “So how was the game last Sunday? I missed it.” and counter that fear.

          • Jay T. Berken

            I’m not sure where you got the “Gang Identification” thing by me wearing a Packers hat. I would be very offended if you took it upon yourself to tell me to take my hat off in a store.

            Getting past my white maleness, it is interesting that you would want to first make dialog with me, but you say nothing about some jackass yelling at a minority woman with her hair covered…

          • Michael


            I am sorry. We are obviously not working on the same comments. My comment was about what would cause someone to want to give this woman a problem because she wants to wear a head scarf, and you asked “Well what if it wasn’t a head scarf?” Well if a person can have a problem with a head scarf, it is just as easy to have the same issue with a hat, a scarf, a shirt, the shoes you choose to wear today, they are not formal enough. One possible answer is this person feels that their community is in trouble and they want to protect it.

            I am not saying that the person was right, I do not think they were, or that I personally would treat you or the woman differently. I hope I have it in me to come and speak to each of you if there is someone invading your personal space and DEMANDING something of you. But I have not had to yet, I have been lucky.

  • Jerry

    These cowards always target women.

    • jon

      Not always, they are obligated by law in some states to leave women alone when they are in public restrooms…….


  • Jay Sieling

    Lots of different religions. Can you tell which is which by the head covering? Some interesting little quizzes are out there. Try this one:

    • A nice exercise of “don’t judge a religion by a head covering”

    • Jerry

      Apparently I think the queen is Jewish.

  • Moffitt

    No laws were broken, but if I had been there, a nose would have been broken. Mine, most likely.

    • I would think this would fall under “disturbing the peace”

  • Ben

    It seems like if most of us thought this was unacceptable more of us would step in to defend those being harassed.

    • MikeB

      “Bystanders did nothing” Nuff said.

    • Al

      It’s human nature not to step in.

    • Rob

      I think most of us do find it unacceptable; fear of getting involved/risking our own safety is the issue, methinks.

  • joetron2030

    No laws were broken? Wouldn’t this be considered harassment or threatening behavior? Aren’t there statutes on the books against harassment or threatening behavior?

  • kevins

    The local news also said that the guy tried to take her hijab off of her….them’s fightin’ behaviors to me.

    • jon

      Trying to pull garments off a woman is ok again? I thought we tossed that behavior out as sexual harassment back in the 80’s-90’s….

      Is it only illegal if you are successful?

    • joetron2030

      I’d consider this attempted assault. Interesting that the police don’t see it that way.

  • lindblomeagles

    It’s like I said when Bob posted the Delano story last week, we have a problem in this alleged liberal State of Minnesota, a problem with people who are not white. And, I might add, law enforcement hasn’t been much help. So while the woman, Fardoso Mohamed did the right thing by calling police, the police made her a victim again when they told her, “No law was broken.” Moreover, the police’s message to our state’s hate mongers is “Yell at a perfect stranger as often as you like here in Moorhead, cause we aren’t planning to arrest you.” It’s business as usual in Minnesota. Shock and disbelief should be the last feeling we feel when a story like this is reported in Minnesota.