After several years behind the scenes at TV station WHBF in the Quad Cities, Tahera Rahman recently made the move to an on-air reporter. The move is one that she has dreamed of for years. It is also a brave one. Rahman is Muslim and is the first woman to wear a hijab on television while working full time for a mainstream American TV station.

Rahman says that growing up, she never saw people that looked like her on TV, much less on the news. She was told numerous times that her hijab would hold her back and that no one wanted to see a Muslim reading the evening news. She even questioned the move herself. But in the end, she says she owned to herself to make the move. She said that there are people living places that aren't even allowed to practice journalism and she was lucky enough to live in America.

 

While Rahman did receive an outpouring of support from around the world, there were others who didn't want to see her on TV. The station got a handful of hateful messages. A white supremacist blog posted her picture and phone number and asked people to call and write the station until she was taken off the air. Despite the hate, Rahman remains.

The 27-year-old Rahman interned at Al-Jazeera English and CBS Evening News' Chicago Bureau. She landed at WHBF TV two years ago. She says that she enjoys working in the Quad Cities and the Midwest due to shifting demographics. According to census figures, the Muslim population in Iowa rose by 38% from 2000 to 2010. There are over 80,000 living in the state. Now they have someone they can relate to on the evening news. Someone young girls can look at and say, "hey...she looks like me."

 

[via IC Press Citizen]