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‘I was frightened,’ Oklahoma City student experiences backlash after practicing Muslim tradition

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OKLAHOMA CITY - An Oklahoma City University student is about to graduate this weekend and her end-of-the-year school project has captured a lot of attention.

Katy Hirsch is often seen walking around Oklahoma City University's campus wearing a head cover.

She’s been wearing a hijab around campus and the metro, a head covering most Muslims wear to show modesty.

"The hijab is a way to show that you're devoted to God and also because feminine beauty is a gift from God, it's a way to protect that from disrespectful treatment," said Hirsch.

Hirsch is a religion major and a Christian, but has been fascinated in World Religion, focusing on Islam.

"It just resonated with me a lot. It's so similar to Christianity and there's so much we can share together," said Hirsch.

For a school project, she decided to wear a hijab to identify with the culture.

However,  her experiment hasn’t been accepted by everyone.

Hirsch recalls one time at a 7-Eleven when she was physically pushed by a customer.

"Somebody slapped me on the arm, hard enough that I had to turn around and face him," said Katy Hirsch. "He went like this and personally, I was frightened and I was scared because he was bigger than me."

She ran out of the store, but had a feeling his hostility was in response to the Muslim tradition she has been practicing.

"The expression on his face told me that it wasn't friendly and I didn't want to stay and find out," said Hirsch.

Hirsch said the reaction to the experiment has been mostly positive.

She said she was surprised by some of the backlash, making it difficult to be different.