Muslim Prom Queen: Reign Of California Muslim Student Symbolizes Teenage Acceptance; Non-Muslim Friends Campaigned For Her By Wearing Hijabs
A California Muslim student, who lives a few miles from the site of the deadly San Bernardino shooting, received the symbol of teenage acceptance after she was crowned prom queen at Fontana's Summit High School last month. The Muslim prom queen attributed her victory to her non-Muslim friends who campaigned for her by wearing hijabs.
The Muslim Prom Queen's Win Is A Symbol Of Teenage Acceptance
The 17-year Muslim prom queen, Zarifeh Shalabi, told The New York Times that her win is a symbol of teenage acceptance because she was able to prove that not all Muslims are "something to worry about." She also added that she was elected because her fellow students see her as a friend and not as a threat.
The Muslim prom queen admitted that when she found out that her non-Muslim friends nominated her for prom queen, she was more concerned about getting permission to participate the event than the idea of winning the crown. She disclosed that she had to incessantly convince her mother, who later consulted her uncles, aunts and friends from a local mosque before giving her the permission to join the prom.
The Muslim Prom Queen's Friends Wore Hijabs To Support Her
The Muslim prom Queen's mother, Manal Haifa, said that she has been worried that Zarifeh would become a victim of anti-Muslim backlash after the San Bernardino shooting last December. They live just a few miles from the scene of the terrorist attack that claimed the lives of 14 people.
But Zarifeh's non-Muslim friends do not see her as a threat. Sarahi Sanchez, a friend of the Muslim prom queen, said that they nominated her because they saw it as an opportunity to do something good and represent something good. "This was a way to prove we don't have problems with bullying or racism," Sanchez stated.
Zarifeh, who was raised in a household of observant Muslims and has been wearing hijab throughout her high school years, received an overwhelming support from her non-Muslim friends and fellow students. On the day of the school election for prom queen, her non-Muslim friends wore colorful hijabs while carrying balloons printed with "Don't be a baddie, vote for the hijabi."
What can you say about Zarifeh's prom queen win? Share your thoughts below.