SZA has opened up on her experiences growing up Muslim, and how the aftermath of 9/11 made her “scared” to wear her hijab.
The singer, who was 11 at the time of the 2001 terrorist attacks in New York City, said she was afraid of the reaction and anti-Muslim sentiment in the United States.
In a new interview, she told Muslim Girl: “I stopped covering after Nine-Eleven because I was so scared. This was like elementary school, middle school
“I regret so much—like, being afraid or caring what people said about me, or in high school feeling like if I didn’t cover all the time that I can’t start covering some of the time.”
Discussing how she resumed wearing her hijab once she reached high school, she added: “And then they were like, ‘What is this? You don’t live your life properly. You’re not really Muslim. Shut up.’ I always let somebody dictate how I was.”
Speaking of her experiences of islamophobia, SZA added: “I haven’t been a direct victim of Islamophobia in so long, only because I don’t cover. I’m not being hyper-observant and I think that I want to be able to use whatever privilege to educate them so that they don’t do it to other people because it’s disgusting and really ignorant.
“I’m not grateful that I’m not receiving so much hate. If anything, I just want to really meet the vacuum to help other people who are experiencing it on an everyday level.”
Earlier this month, SZA collaborated with Doja Cat on new song ‘Kiss Me More’. The track’s accompanying video follows an astronaut who explores a pink-hued planet, eventually encountering the massive, glamorous aliens Doja and SZA