Mona Shadia got some media coverage here and elsewhere last December when she was assigned to write a regular column about living as a Muslim in Orange County. "Unveiled: A Muslim Girl in O.C." was for the three local newspapers run by the LAT's Times Community News unit, whose editor wrote at the time: " Whether it's fasting during Ramadan, Eid, hijabs in the workplace, the Irvine 11 or the Arab Spring, Mona has educated her co-workers (and bosses) about her faith and experiences. Those conversations led us to realize how little Americans understand about Islam and the Middle Easterners who live among us in this era of Islamophobia in America." She posts on Facebook today that the Orange County Register has hired her away.
The Orange County Register has made me an offer I couldn't resist.
And so my chapter with Times Community News ends Friday, and a new one with the Register begins on Monday. I'm grateful for the opportunity and feel blessed to be able to continue doing what I love: journalism.
Shadia was born in Cairo and moved to Southern California just before she turned 15. Here's a passage fgrom her first column last year:
The first thing I did was remove the hijab, but I couldn't let go of my anger toward it. Until recently.
Although there is no specific mention of a woman's hair in the Koran, there are at least two verses where God commands women to cover their heads, according to Mohammed Ibn Faqih, imam and religious director at the Anaheim-based Islamic Institute of Orange County.
These versus are also clarified through one of Prophet Muhammad's prophetic traditions.
But here's why the hijab is such a controversy.
In recent history, as with many other religious and nonreligious expressions, the hijab became politicized.
Covering became associated with oppression when, in fact, the basic purpose of the hijab was to liberate women and protect their dignity and beauty, Faqih said.