Media representation is important. Women who wear a headscarf for religious reasons are everywhere, yet often they don’t find themselves represented in mainstream media. There are only a few exceptions and we’ve listed them right here. Check out these 6 television shows that have a hijabi character.
A primetime show on ABC about a group of FBI recruits training at the Quantico base in Virginia, while one of them is suspected of being a terrorist. I know what you’re thinking: “Terrorism? Of course they have a hijabi character then!” Yes, it seems a little too obvious, but Nimah Amin (Yasmine Al Massri) is actually a pretty surprising character.
And a lot of fans agree.
Omg Quantico, where have you been all my life. The hijabi FBI in the show, she is badassss 🙆
— N.Mirah (@TheMirah) May 9, 2016
Can we talk about the representation in Quantico? Priyanka Chopra, the hijabi, the BW at the head of the FBI rocking her natural hair 🙌🏽🙌🏽🙌🏽
— Noor (@Noorpinephrine) April 4, 2016
— Sara Sadeghi (@Persian_Vegan) March 21, 2016
- Orange is the New Black
In season 4 of Orange is the New Black, we welcome Alison Abdullah (Amanda Stephen) as a new inmate in women’s federal prison Litchfield Penitentiary.
There has already been a lot of discussions about her character, that she’s not really a practising Muslim or that certain scenes are too controversial. Others are just excited to see a hijabi being part of the amazing cast.
So @OITNB has a Muslim Hijabi/Muhajaba inmate. Only thing accurate about her portrayal is the hiding of a cell phone in her Hijab 😌
— 🇲🇽🇮🇷🇮🇶🇾🇪🇸🇾 (@a_sumbel) June 27, 2016
the hijabi on oitnb hid a phone in her hijab she is my role model
— afifa 🕊 (@princessfIower) June 22, 2016
the fact that they have a girl wearing the hijab on OITNB >>>>
— faتen (@fatendarbaj) June 18, 2016
The Canadian teen drama television series Degrassi had a hijabi character in the episode “Don’t believe the hype” in Season 2. Fareeza (Jacqueline Rose) is a Muslim student who was being harassed by a fellow student, Hazel, for wearing a hijab. Unfortunately, we didn’t see Fareeza again after this one episode.
But last year, Degrassi added a new hijabi to its cast: Goldi Nahir (Somi Bhatia), a passionate activist and feminist who wants to make the school a better place for everyone.
New Degrassi cast member is a hijabi feminist. Now, where's generic hot boy who tries to sway her from the deen? 😙 pic.twitter.com/uOgQNVFIz3
— zehra (@aloezehra) November 24, 2015
- Little Mosque on the Prairie
This Canadian television sitcom focuses on the Muslim community in the fictional prairie town of Mercy, Saskatchewan. Rayyan Hamoudi (Sitara Hewit) is the daughter of main characters Yasir and Sarah. Rayyan is the town doctor and a devout Muslim feminist with outspoken opinions.
The relationship between her and husband Amaar kept many fans dreaming.
Rayyan and Amaar finally said they loved each other on Little Mosque. Ive been waiting to long for that! #oldershow
— Markki LeBlanc (@Markki_LeBlanc) April 12, 2013
If the religion exam is just on Little Mosque I'll probably do well because all I remember from this whole semester is that Rayyan+Amaar = ♥
— georgie (@georgie_dc) June 18, 2013
This American television sitcom is set in a call center in Mumbai India, that is managed by an American manager. Unfortunately, the NBC series was cancelled after one season. But until then, we saw Sarah Zerina Usmen, who’s also a hijab-wearing woman in real life, as a sari vendor on screen.
6. Mr. Robot
The amazing Mr. Robot also features a hijabi character: Trenton, played by Sunita Mani is one of the members of the hacking group.
Trenton is a Female Muslim character from "Mr Robot" who wears a hijab and is not reduced to any stereotypes. pic.twitter.com/HkcKoWumiG
— Hijabi Queens (@HijabiQueens_) September 19, 2015
Yes, it’s a very short list, which shows us we still have a long way to go. But for now, who is your favorite character?