A reporter for an Illinois TV station has become the first reporter in America to wear a hijab on-camera full time.
The reporter, Tahera Rahman, works for WHBF, the CBS affiliate in Rock Island, Illinois. As the video featured below shows, Rahman is well aware of what her presence on camera means, and wants to use the opportunity to promote her faith with viewers.
Tahera Rahman, now works as a reporter for WHBF-TV, a CBS affiliate based in Rock Island, Illinois, which serves the Quad cities. The journalist, from Naperville, Illinois, has worked at the station as a producer for two years and never lost sight of her ‘dream’ of stepping in front of the camera one day.
When another reporter position opened last year, Tahera, who was once told by a colleague that America wasn’t ‘ready’ for a hijabi TV reporter, applied. Her reel proved to be the best out of the pool of applicants, and Tahera started her new full-time position earlier this month.
Tahera, who told The Des Moines Register she is ‘living her dream’, is the first female reporter to wear a hijab while working full-time for a mainstream TV station in the US, the Muslim American Women In Media group said.
The reporter decided to start wearing a hijab full-time when she was in the fifth grade, and initially faced resistance from her mother, who thought Tahera was too young to make such a choice.
‘I remember the first day I decided to wear it full-time, because I wouldn’t wear it outside of school or anything,’ Rahman told the newspaper. ‘I walked out of the house and I was like, “Oh my God, no, I’m starting to wear it now,” and I ran back in and put it on.’
By wearing the hijab, Muslim women can manifest their faith and abide by the principle of modesty.
Tahera went on to attend Loyola University Chicago, a Catholic college, where she joined a sorority.
‘I knew there was no one who looked like me who rushed Greek life, but I did because I wanted to,’ she said. ‘I would show up to formals and Panhellenic events and I would be the only one who wore a headscarf, but it never stopped me, and I still had fun and I still studied abroad and I still traveled with my sorority sisters to Spring Break.’
After graduating college, Tahera, who already had her eyes set on journalism, sent her reel to managers and professors, looking for their feedback. This is when one person told her the country ‘wasn’t ready’ to have a hijabi reporter on television.
‘It’s those subtle statements that actually have a big impact,’ Tahera said. ‘It’s those little things, those little pebbles that keep pelting you and saying, “Hey, it’s not going to work.”‘
This promotional video delves into Rahman’s background.