In the Quad Cities on the Iowa-Illinois border, a woman has become the first to wear a hijab while reporting full-time for a mainstream American TV station.
The Des Moines Register provides a profile today of Tahera Rahman, who moved from a producer’s job to an on-air role this month.
She hears people say “take that rag off your head all the time,” she tells the paper.
“Well I was born and raised here and I wear it,” she says. “So I am where I belong and you have to deal with it.”
“When people said it was going to be tough, I was just like, I know, but life is tough,” Rahman said. “People live in places where it is hard to even practice journalism in general. I live in America, and I was born and raised with the values of equality and democracy and hard work getting you to your dream, to the American dream.”
After her debut, a white supremacist blog posted her picture and personal phone number.
In her job search — in which news directors told her America isn’t ready to see a hijab-wearing woman on TV news — she said she was inspired by the election of Ilhan Omar to the Minnesota House of Representatives.
Tell me again about how America is not ready for this,” she thought at the time.
There will always be someone who will say the country isn’t ready for change. She says she knows what that really means.
“They’re scared,” she says.