I was the first reporter to wear a hijab on Scottish news. It shows how much diversity is still needed

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Feeding the poor and needy is an act that draws us closer to Allah. We earn His forgiveness, mercies and blessings through this act of charity.

“Anyone who looks after and works for a widow and a poor person is like a warrior fighting for Allah?s cause, or like a person who fasts during the day and prays all night. (Bukhari)

Last month, I was able to break through a glass ceiling that I felt had cast a shadow over me for so long – when I, a woman wearing a hijab, did my first TV report for STV news in Scotland. It was a massive step for me, yet there is so much more that needs to be done for better representation in the UK media.

Currently in Scotland, there is a real lack of representation from black and Asian ethnic minority media professionals on screen. In fact, my TV report was deemed to have been the first time a hijab-wearing TV reporter anchored a news report in Scotland. I faced many challenges and barriers over the years trying to transition into broadcast journalism.

I was once asked by someone in the industry whether I would consider removing my hijab if I wanted to progress in my career and that I had all the “skills and potential” but didn’t really have the right “look” for TV. I refused to compromise my identity as Muslim woman just to get ahead. I would have rather given up my ambition than give up on my beliefs, but felt that no one should have to be in a situation where they are discriminated against or not given a chance to progress purely based on the way they look.


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