By John Blake
August 12, 2009
(CNN) -- Rowaida Abdelaziz doesn't want your pity.
She doesn't want your frosty public stares; the whispers behind her back; the lament that she's been degraded by her father.
What the Muslim high school senior wants you to understand is that she doesn't wear the hijab, the head scarf worn by Muslim women, because she is submissive.
"It represents beauty to me," says Abdelaziz, the 17-year-old daughter of two Egyptian parents living in Old Bridge, New Jersey.
"My mom says a girl is like a jewel," Abdelaziz says. "When you have something precious, you usually hide it. You want to make sure you keep it safe until that treasure is ready to be found."
The nation has heard plenty of debate over racial profiling. But there's a form of religious profiling that some young Muslim women in America say they endure whenever they voluntarily wear the hijab.
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