At a time of fraught debate about immigration and countrywide identification, the hijab is becoming a flashpoint and a symbol of solidarity, with New Zealand Key Minister Jacinda Ardern donning a hijab following the Christchurch mosque shootings, and Fox News host Jeanine Pirro drawing criticism for inquiring whether U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar’s hijab displays beliefs “antithetical on the U.S. Structure.

Controversy flared locally last calendar year when WGN-Tv set information anchor Robin Baumgarten instructed Chicago style blogger Hoda Katebi, who wears a hijab, that she didn’t sound like an American when she hijabs criticized U.S. plan. Baumgarten later on apologized.

In response to these types of higher-profile incidents, the Tribune interviewed six Chicago-location women about why they have on the hijab, what it means to them, and what types of reactions they get. The women interviewed were from people with roots in Syria, India, Africa as well as the Palestinian territories. They were black, white and brown, suburban and urban, immigrant and American-born. They spoke of bigotry and acceptance, of religious devotion and private identity.