The experiences of Naheed Mustafa and Sheila Watt-Cloutier are similar in numerous ways. The passion the two women have for their culture is undeniable. However, to others their culture is just another brick on the wall. Often, the both of their cultures clash with society’s views and beliefs in today’s world which is personally rather upsetting to both females. The experiences they share are nonetheless very similar.
Naheed Mustafa, a young Muslim who began to wear the hijab once she blossomed out of her teenage years, finds it difficult to apprehend the fact as to why society views her differently compared to other girls her age. Due to the mere fact that she wears a hijab, she gets a “whole gamut of strange looks, stares, and covert glances. ” Because she lives in Canada, which adapts the Western culture, wearing a hijab is not very common. Because of this Naheed and many others like her, are often viewed as outcasts and treated differently.
This takes a huge toll on one’s identity which can be either negative or positive. However, Naheed abides by her choices and wishes to make a positive change out of it. Like Naheed, Sheila Watt- Cloutier, an Inuk woman who resides in Iqaluit has to face huge problems in regards to the weather not being as cold as it needs to in order to sustain Inuit lifestyle. The fact that Inuit culture is far from any other culture distance wise, it is hard for others to understand the issue let alone do something about it.
Both Sheila and Naheed Mustafa’s problems are often ignored or not seen as an important enough problem. Regardless of the ignorance of their problems, both woman are fighters and will do what it takes to change society’s way of viewing major and minor issues. The views of others influenced these women to speak up against the ignorance and help their culture and identity to be seen as equal amongst everyone rather than being cast out by social barriers.