The R&B singer recalled being in elementary or middle school at the time while facing Islamaphobia.
The effects of the September 11 attack on the World Trade Center in 200 reverberated throughout various communities, but Muslims around the world, especially in America, were subject to Islamaphobia. People were unwarrantedly stopped and searched while traveling, others were victims of hate crimes, and anti-Islam and anti-Muslim narratives were pushed in the media. Because of this, SZA stopped wearing her hijab.
In a recent interview with Muslim Girl, SZA opened up about being raised Muslim and why, as an 11-year-old at the time, she felt "scared" to wear her hijab following the plane attacks on 9/11.
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“I stopped covering after Nine-Eleven because I was so scared. This was like elementary school, middle school," the TDE singer recalled. "I regret so much—like, being afraid or caring what people said about me, or in high school feeling like if I didn’t cover all the time that I can’t start covering some of the time.”
By the time she reached high school, SZA admitted that she began wearing her hijab once again. “And then they were like, ‘What is this? You don’t live your life properly. You’re not really Muslim. Shut up.’ I always let somebody dictate how I was.”
“I haven’t been a direct victim of Islamophobia in so long, only because I don’t cover," she continued. "I’m not being hyper-observant and I think that I want to be able to use whatever privilege to educate them so that they don’t do it to other people because it’s disgusting and really ignorant. I’m not grateful that I’m not receiving so much hate. If anything, I just want to really meet the vacuum to help other people who are experiencing it on an everyday level.”