Libyan Muslim woman aspires to be the first hijabi (headbag) anchor on American TV. I’m sure MSNBC will scoop her right up to see if they can be the first network to see their ratings fall below zero. One thing any station that hires her won’t have to worry about is her hair. That’s because Noor Tagouri is a Muslim supremacist, covering her hair in a cloth bag whenever she’s going to be around men to whom she is not related.
Washington Post Tagouri says, “It empowers me,” Tagouri says. “It helps me do what I want to do.” (In other words, to show my superiority to infidel women who expose their hair like the sluts they are)
What she wants to do is to be the first hijabi anchor on U.S. commercial television. And she’s in a hurry to get there. After graduating from high school, she went on to earn her bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism from the University of Maryland. At 21, she now works part-time for CBS Radio and Prince George’s Community Television.
She’s also a smartphone celebrity. In December 2012, she joined the ranks of social media stars after posting a photo of herself sitting at the anchor desk at ABC 7 news in Washington, labeling it “my dream.” The post went viral, and Tagouri quickly amassed thousands of followers.
Unlike her television role models, who include the likes of Oprah Winfrey and Lisa Ling, Tagouri has to navigate the image-centric media landscape wearing an immediate marker of her faith – a square of cloth that signifies “I am Muslim (Fear me).”
That can be a high hurdle to face in a country where a lot of misunderstanding, distrust, fear, and hatred still surrounds Islam. Muslims are tired of being carbon-copy cookie cutters of what society expects us to be.” (That’s just one of the reasons why people hate you) Besides, she says, “My MUSLIM identity is way more important to me than any job.”
What really matters is not what you wear but whether you can do the job well, says Abed Ayoub, legal and policy director at the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee. It’s insulting, he says, “to think that an individual who wears a hijab isn’t capable of being unbiased” or fair in a media job or any other job. “They are more than capable of taking up any occupation.” (No, they aren’t)
Tagouri still lives at home in her parents’ palatial mansion in Bowie, Md. She’s not concerned about her “otherness” in an industry long known for its focus on standardized perfection — impeccable blowout, straight teeth, no accent, no headbags.
Tagouri supplements her reporting gigs with travel and speaking engagements. Recently, she spoke at a Foggy Bottom TedX on the theme of “Being Rebellious” before jetting off to Paris to talk about hijab and Muslim women’s rights on France’s nightly news talk show.
She shrugs off the idea that some may think that her religion will affect her objectivity, that mightiest of journalistic ethics. “Me wearing a scarf on my head won’t make me report a story any differently,” she insists. (When pigs fly, maybe)
Still, this being the digital age, she receives her fair share of hateful comments. “I get hate every day” from Muslims and non-Muslims alike, she says, about everything from how she prays to the tightness of her jeans
Look what happens when Tagouri barges in, uninvited, on an anti-mosque protest in Tennessee: