Breaking House Rules: Hoodies, Hijabs, and Belonging in the Netherlands
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T. Nalbantian
Discrimination, Islamophobia
Blog / news media story

Nalbantian, T. (2015, May 17). Breaking House Rules: Hoodies, Hijabs, and Belonging in the Netherlands. Jadaliyya. 


Tsolin Nalbantian, a professor from the Netherlands, describes her experience visiting the Openbare Bibliotheek Amsterdam (OBA). As the weather was cold, Nalbantian decided to wear a hood inside the premises. However, she was met with guards who asked her to remove the hood as she was breaking the “house rules”. As she did not comply, she was asked to leave. Nalbantian also discusses the guard’s responses to her as she wore a makeshift hijab from her scarf instead of wearing a hood. She further notes media responses from strangers as well as responses from her colleagues about the incident, with some people calling her a Muslim and telling her to go back to Afghanistan, despite her being non-Muslim and not being from Afghanistan. There were some people, however, that supported Nalbantian. The article focuses on themes such as rules, hierarchy, power, inclusion, and sense of belonging in the context of the Netherlands.


The Teaching Against Islamophobia resources were developed with funding support from the Law Foundation of BC, and the Centre for Comparative Muslim Studies at SFU.


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