US Muslim women debate safety of hijab amid backlash

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NEW YORK (AP) — American Muslim women who wear religious headscarves are debating whether they should change their routine because of the rise in anti-Muslim rhetoric and harassment.

Sites for Muslim women are offering safety tips for people who feel they're at risk. They're recommending trading hooded sweatshirts for the headcovering known as the hijab, or carrying pepper spray.

Some U.S. Muslim women say they won't change anything about how they cover their hair. They say it's an important moment to demonstrate pride in the face of bigotry.

Some groups are organizing self-defense classes specifically for Muslim women.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations says most reports of discrimination against American Muslim women involve women who wear headscarves. The group is reporting a dramatic uptick in anti-Muslim harassment overall after the Paris and California attacks.

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