Source: The Oakland Tribune/Contra Costa Times
Hani Khan never set out to be the next lightning rod of the culture wars, testing the limits of religious acceptance in the Bay Area and the retail industry.
Unfazed by the blaring pop rock, haze of cologne and sepia-toned posters of bare-chested surfers, she walked confidently into a Hollister Co. clothing store last fall, sat down for an interview and secured a part-time job. The 19-year-old liked that she could go to work in flip-flops, jeans and a color-coordinated hijab, the head scarf she wears as an expression of her Muslim faith.
"Hollister associates represent American style," said the employee handbook she picked up on her first day. "America is diverse, and we want diversity in our stores."
So far, so good. She was, after all, American, born in New York to an Indian father and Pakistani mother and raised in California. The sophomore at the College of San Mateo has worn a head scarf in her classrooms since kindergarten. She wore it to malls and movie theaters and while playing second base for the softball team at San Mateo High.