A self-defense class for Muslim women will debut in Iowa City on Tuesday. These women are often targeted as their religious covering identifies them as Muslim.
The Iowa chapter for the Council on American-Islamic Relations is sponsoring the class. Executive director Miriam Amer says Muslim women wearing headscarves, or hijabs, have been targeted in the U.S. in recent months.
"Attacks have been happening across the country, and it’s majority against Muslim women because we cover," Amer says. "Most of us wear the headscarf and modest clothing. So we're the targets, basically.”
Amer says anyone, Muslim or not, is welcome to attend the free self-defense class.
"I’m not going to focus on the rhetoric, and I’m not going to focus on the attacks," Amer says. "But we are going to be proactive and teach these women from vulnerable populations how to take care of themselves and how to deflect anything."
Amer plans to offer the class throughout the state of Iowa.