This story is a sequel to “Hotel Hadith“, but although there are many references to this it’s not a prerequisite for reading this story.
Hailey waited for the mail.
“Did it come yet, Mom?” she asked.
“No,” she was told.
She had been waiting for weeks. She was hoping for a thick envelope. A slim envelope would mean rejection.
The next day Hailey came home.
“Hailey, you have mail,” her mother told her.
It was a thick envelope from the Foundation for Teaching Islam.
“The envelope is thick. That’s good,” Hailey said.
The letter explained that she had been accepted to the Hotel Hadith. There were other papers about when to arrive in Houston and what to bring.
“Are you sure you want to go there?” her mother asked.
“It’s a huge scholarship,” Hailey pointed out.
“I don’t know if you should trust that man who runs it,” her mother pointed out.
“He’s an oil billionaire from Arabia. There’s nothing to worry about. Dozens of girls have gone through this seminar and been just fine,” Hailey pointed out.
“Couldn’t you just take out loans for college?” her mother asked.
“I can’t believe you’re suggesting that, Mom,” Hailey replied.
“The whole thing leaves me a little unsettled. I feel like this man from Saudi Arabia is just using you girls as his future American women of Islam collection. Like you’re some kind of veiled trophy,” her mother told her.
“It’s not like that at all,” Hailey pleaded.
Over the next few weeks, Hailey did everything necessary to prepare herself for the selective seminar. But one day she noticed a piece of paper she had overlooked before.
“What’s this?” Hailey asked.
The letter explained that film crews would be taping this year’s candidates for a reality show called “Hadith Styles.”
When Hailey explained this to her mother, she was further uncomfortable with the idea.
“I’ll be fine,” Hailey said.
“I might be in the background. You won’t even be able to tell it’s me. I’ll be all covered up,” Hailey pointed out.
Hailey flew to Houston and arrived at the mansion of Faisal Abdullah. She unpacked her things and met her roommates.
Like all participants, she was given her three niqabs and abayas, along with washing instructions.
“This is a lot different from trying on a dress at the mall,” Hailey told Mindi, her roommate.
Later they went downstairs and met with members of the television crew who were working on casting and production.
“Would you like to be one of the girls we follow?” the crewman asked.
They both agreed, although Hailey couldn’t help but wonder what her mother would think. She decided to go through with it, because she didn’t think she would ever have the opportunity to be the focus of a television show again.
Throughout the next few weeks, they would participate in the seminar. Out of the fifty girls there, they would join Brittany and Sofia as the four selected to be regularly interviewed for the show.
The show mainly focused on footage of the girls participated with several cutaways where the girls sat in an interview room and spoke directly to the audience.
“Five years ago, the first group of girls who attended the Hotel Hadith left these doors with a lot of college cash to pursue their futures with,” Kate O’Reilly, the host of the new reality television show, told her audience.
“What is the Hotel Hadith? It’s the nickname of a three-week long seminar required for young women interested in receiving a huge scholarship offered by Foundation for Teaching for Teaching Islam. It is held in a specially constructed residence which does mimic standard hotels. Participants have spent the last five years attending the Hotel Hadith at Faisal Abdullah’s mansion grounds outside of Houston,” the host explained.
“Tonight, we’ll watch as this year’s class attends the seminar, wearing strict Islamic veils over their faces and abayas covering the rest of their bodies, in hopes of also financially securing the next few years of their lives,” the announcer said as the show displayed many parts of Mr. Abdullah’s mansion estate.
“Welcome to the first season of Hadith Styles, a reality show which will track the progress of girls trying to receive the megascholarship offered by the Foundation for Teaching Islam. I’m Kate O’Reilly,” the host said.
“We’ll introduce you to all fifty participants vying for the scholarship in a moment. Unfortunately, we can’t follow all of them so we’ve selected four girls for an in depth look.
A short introduction for each of the girls was shown. They were each wearing the uniform of Hotel Hadith – a black niqab and abaya with the only skin being shown being around their eyes.
The camera cut to a girl draped in a black niqab and abaya. The girl was sitting in front of a curtain looking into the camera.
“Hi, I’m Hailey,” she said.
“I’m 18 years old from Lincoln, Nebraska and I want to study Psychology,” she said.
Hailey’s brief profile was just one of the fifty to be shown that night. Since the series could not show all of the activities of all fifty girls, they had to focus on only a few.
Footage of her unpacking her things in her room was shown. Whenever they showed Hailey’s, or any other girl’s, face before putting on the niqab they would electronically blur it out.
“I’m Mindi from Newark, New Jersey,” she said.
“I’m Sofie and I’m from Chicago, Illinois,” another girl said.
“I’m Brittany and I’m from Austin, Texas,” another girl said.
“The girls will spend the next three weeks learning about the Islamic religion, history and culture. The entire time they’ll be wearing niqabs – veils which only leave the eyes visible,” Kate O’Reily said.
“I will likely be one of the few women you will see unveiled during this whole program,” Kate explained.
“If there is anyone watching whose religion prohibits seeing a woman’s face, we invite you to download a television application which scans women’s faces and then digitally covers them with a veil. But you won’t need that app for the vast majority of women on this program,” Kate explained.
The next episode focused on the mundane aspects of the seminar.
“Welcome to the Hadith Styles. Tonight, the girls will sit through their lectures and speakers as they learn about Muslim history in their first week at Hotel Hadith,” host Kate O’Reily told the audience.
Footage of the girls sitting through the classes was shown. Hailey took notes while most of her friends simply listened.
The show focused on the girls throughout their daily activities such as sitting through classes and lectures and trying to eat with their niqabs on. The girls would sometimes give comments that they weren’t happy to be covered up, but they were told by both the television production company and by the seminar leaders to speak freely.
“It’s hard to image that anyone wanted to make a TV show where people sit in class,” Sofie said.
“It was pretty hard trying to eat with this thing on,” Brittany told the camera.
“I’m glad there was air conditioning in there,” Sofie said.
“Everytime we go outside and get on or off the bus it gets hot in these things. They’re designed to keep the heat down, but you still get very warm,” Sofie continued.
“I have a lot more respect for Muslims after the first couple days of classes,” Mindi told the camera.
“When I was little I would usually go as a princess for Halloween. One year I went as a ghost and I wore a blanket over my whole body. This kind of reminds me of that, except it’s a little easier to breathe,” Hailey explained.
“I’m worried about getting a tan after all of this is over,” Sofie explained.
The next episode featured the girls going somewhere special.
“Good Evening, and welcome to the Hadith Styles,” Kate O’Brein announced.
“Tonight, the girls visit a Houston mosque,” she tells the audience.
The girls listened the imam speak.
“It was really neat seeing what people do in a mosque,” Hailey told the camera.
“The mosque is split into two areas. One is for men and the other is for women. That wasn’t something I’m used to. The only thing we ever see separate for men and women in Nebraska are the bathrooms,” Hailey said.
“The invited us to come and pray with them. If we didn’t want to we could just stay back and observe. Most of us just stayed back but a few went and prayed,” Brittany told the camera.
“I have to wonder what my priest back home is going to think of this,” Mindi wondered.
“It reminded me a lot of going to church, except the inside looked different,” Sofie said.
“That concludes tonight. Next week, the girls read over the morals clause for the scholarship,” Kate ended the program.
“Welcome to the Hadith Styles. Tonight, the girls read their morals contract for receiving the scholarship. And one girl is not happy with the terms,” Kate O’Reily told the audience.
“A morals contract is something you sign just to make sure you don’t embarrass a sponsor or an organization you’re with,” Hailey explained.
“Football players, game show hosts, all kinds of celebrities and sports figures sign them. They basically say if you do something stupid or just horribly morally wrong then your endorsements and all the money you’re getting will stop coming,” Hailey continued.
“The first thing on the contract is that we can’t publicly appear in immodest clothing, including miniskirts or bikinis,” Mindi told the audience.
“The second thing is that we can’t publicly say anything bad about Muslims, the Qur’an, Islam or the Prophet Mohammad,” Sofie said.
“The third thing is we can’t do anyting to attract negative publicity,” Brittany said.
“The fourth clause is we can’t promote pork or alcohol products in any way,” Hailey said.
“The fifth clause is we are not allowed to promote makeup or immodest clothing,” Mindi said.
“The sixth clause is we cannot get pregnant out of wedlock” Sofie told the audience.
“The seventh clause is we can’t publicly consume alcohol, which is illegal for us until we turn 21 anyway…,” Brittany said.
“The eighth clause is that during any interviews about our time at the seminar we have to be veiled,” Hailey said.
While most of the clauses were easy for the girls to live with, not everyone was happy.
Brooke, one of the girls going for the scholarship, was quite angry with the morals contract. She already had a modeling deal worked out to begin shortly after she would be done with the seminar.
“I’m going to have to talk to the people in charge about this. I mean, I can’t give up a modeling career which could be worth millions of dollars for the amount of money this scholarship is going to pay,” Brooke told the audience in a cutaway.
“What am I supposed to do? I have a modeling contract coming up!” Brooke told one of the directors of the seminar.
This was directly in conflict with the fifth clause.
Brooke tried discussing the rules and explaining her situation to those in charge. She even asked to discuss it with Faisal Abdullah, but was told he made the rules originally and he would never change them.
“I’m going to have to leave here. I can’t agree to these rules. Why didn’t they tell us about them before we came out here?” Brooke asked, looking into the camera.
The episode ended with a cab arriving at the main entrance. Since Brooke was no longer participating in the seminar, she didn’t wear her veil on the way out to the cab. Like Isabelle from the first year of the scholarship, she left quite angry.
“I can’t believe I just spent the last three days here dressed like a freaking ninja and it was all for nothing,” Brooke told the camera.
“All of those loser girls can keep walking around with their faces covered up but the world is going to see this face on the cover of fashion magazines before you know it,” Brooke told the audience.
Her face was shown blurred out as she exited the building towards her cab.
“Tonight we watched the first girl this year leave the seminar with nothing. That leaves forty-nine girls still vying for the scholarship at Hotel Hadith.,” Kate told the audience.
“Will any more girls be going home without the scholarship secured? Tune in next week, when the girls take one of two exams required to complete the seminar. Good night,” Kate concluded.
“Welcome to the Hadith Styles. Tonight the girls get ready for their first exam,” Kate O’Reily told the audience.
“The exam was about Islamic history. That’s over a 1,000 and a half years. That’s a lot of history to know,” Brittany said.
“I don’t even know Christian or European or American history that well,” Sofie said.
“I think I did pretty well,” Mindi speculated.
“One of the interesting things, at least for us, is about the history of veiling that they covered. Veiling has been around a lot longer than Islam has been. The ancient Assyrian women of high social status would wear veils. Some Byzantine women would wear veils. So this wasn’t something that Muslims created, even if they did help popularize it.
“There were some questions about women in Islam on the exam but there weren’t a lot about veiling in particular,” Brittany pointed out.
“It’s really weird taking an exam in the middle of the summer. I feel like I’m in summer school,” Sofie pointed out.
“I think two girls failed the exam,” Hailey said.
“They say that usually one or two participants fail an exam and can’t get the scholarship,” Hailey continued.
“I hate taking exams but I see what the point of it is,” Brittany said.
“You don’t just want a bunch of women to put veils on and sit around for three weeks and then give them lots of money,” Brittany continued.
“All of the girls are glad their first exam is over. Next week, the girls take another trip out into the Houston suburbs,” Kate informed.
“Tonight on Hadith Styles, the girls once again put on their veils and venture out into the real world. They’ll take a field trip to the Houston Institute for Cultural Art,” Kate O’Brien announced.
Footage of the girls dressed in niqabs and departing from a bus in front of the museum was shown.
They were then shown being admitted into the museum.
“I think it’s really cool that there’s an exhibit of art dedicated to veiled women,” Sofie said.
The camera panned across the room, showing all of the paintings. One was a profile picture of a veiled Muslim woman. Another showed the woman looking downward.
“The paintings are very good, but they remind me of my old art projects where I’d try making a painting or a drawing look like someone’s face. I wish I could have just brushed over it and called it a veil,” Brittany said.
“The artist is Keith Ebert and as far as I know he is not a Muslim,” Hailey told the camera.
“I like the one where did the Mona Lisa but covered her up in a burqa,” Sofie told the camera.
“I think Da Vinci would have been finished a lot sooner had he taken that approach,” she continued.
“Most of the paintings are of Arab or Indian women. I mean, it’s hard to tell because they’re almost completely covered up. But you can see the skin around their eyes and that kind of gives you an idea of where they might be from,” Hailey pointed out.
“There are Indians and Arabs and a few African women. Then I saw this painting of a white woman. She had blue eyes and very fair skin. She was covered up and presumably just as Muslim as all of the other subjects,” Hailey said.
“None of the girls here are Muslims. They make sure of that during the application process,” Brittany pointed out.
“There are rumors that some of the girls who have attended the seminar have in fact become Muslims,” Hailey said.
“I really don’t see myself converting, but I might occasionally visit a mosque when all of this is over,” Hailey told the camera.
“That concludes tonight’s program. Next week there will be some culture shock as the veiled girls watch a popular American program,” the host told the audience.
“Welcome to Hadith Styles. When the working day is done and over, girls just want to have fun. Tonight, the girls contrast the strict Islamic rules they’re following at Hotel Hadith with American popular culture as they spend their evening catching up on America’s Model Search,” Kate O’Reily tells the audience.
“Over the last few weeks I haven’t had to do my hair or my makeup in the morning and that’s saved me a lot of time. I mean they let us put on some eye shadow if we want, but other than that I just take a shower in the morning and then put on my niqab. It’s really saved a lot of time for other things,” Brittany said.
The show then cut to the girls sitting in one of the lounges at Hotel Hadith. They lounges were simply furnished but had sinks, cupboards, couches and television sets.
The girls were watching the television show America’s Model Search.
“A lot of people may be wondering why you can’t see most of the faces on the television screen we’re watching. I mean, they know why they can’t see our faces, but we’re sitting her watching America’s Model Search and on the screen here you can’t see most of the faces,” Hailey tells the camera in her cutaway.
“The television is actually using a WebTV app that was developed a couple of years ago,” Hailey continued.
“The way it works is the show goes into the box and then the box looks for any faces which are female,” Hailey explained.
“It then uses a computer to cover up any woman’s face so when you see it on the screen it looks like she’s wearing a veil,” Hailey continued.
The audience watching Hadith Styles sees a television set in the lounge. On that television set, there are many digitally created veils.
“It’s a little odd to be watching a show about modeling and you can’t see anyone’s face,” Brittany explained in a cutaway.
“I mean I hate I can’t see anyone’s clothes or how they look but I’m glad to have a chance to watch it,” Brittany continued.
“A lot of people might think it’s silly to have a program in your TV box that digitally covers women’s faces but I’ve come to think it’s a really cool idea. I admire people who take Islam seriously enough to use the application,” Hailey told the camera.
“I mean, when you get past your initial reaction to the computer program that WebTV is using and you start to think about who is using it and why they’re using it – it really changes your perspectives on it,” Hailey elaborated.
“Most of the users of the application are Muslim men. There might be a few Muslim women using it but I think Muslim men download it more than anyone else. Those Muslim men feel that a woman’s face is a treasure that she should protect and that she shouldn’t let just anyone see that treasure,” Hailey continued.
“The fact that those men respect women enough to use this app and not look at their beauty says a lot about them. And I have a lot of respect for those men who use this app and I’m glad to hear that it’s been downloaded several hundred thousand times already,” Hailey continued.
The show then cut to the girls in the lobby looking for something else to watch after America’s Model Search ended.
“We ended up watching a movie called the Beachhouse,” Brittany told the camera.
“In case you’re not familiar it was a romantic comedy that came out about three years ago,” Brittany said.
“I’ve seen the movie a couple of times and there are a few scenes were there are tons of women walking along the beach in their bikinis. Watching those scenes with the application they have on TV was kind of hilarious. You’d see women you know should be in bikinis walking around in dark robes and veils,” Mindi told the camera.
“I hope you enjoyed tonight’s program. Next week, we’ll sit down for a rare interview with Faisal Abdullah. In addition to being the founder of the Foundation which offers the girls this scholarship, he’s the CEO of Kingdom Energy, the world’s largest energy corporation and one of the ten richest men on Earth,” she concluded the program.
“Good evening, and welcome to the Hadith Styles,” Kate O’Reily said.
“Tonight we’ll let the girls take a break as I sit down with the man who started it all – the CEO of Kingdom Energy and the founder of the Foundation for Teaching Islam – Faisal Abdullah” Kate told her audience.
“For the first time ever, I’ll be wearing a niqab out of respect for the wishes of Mr. Abdulah” Kate said.
“Thank you for joining us tonight, Mr. Abdullah,” Kate said.
“You’re welcome,” Faisal said.
“Kingdom Oil still exists. It is a subsidiary of Kingdom Energy, along with Kingdom Nuclear and Kingdom Solar. We’re preparing for the world’s energy needs as the Arabian oil sheets are being depleted,” Faisal explained.
“So the Oil, Nuclear and Solar together make up Kingdom Energy,” Kate clarified.
“Exactly,” Faisal said.
“That’s very interesting,” Kate said.
“What’s the future for Hotel Hadith?” Kate asked.
“It is fundamentally going to remain the same. This television program was a major leap for us,” Faisal told the audience.
“Some have called for us to expand the seminar to include more participants, but unfortunately that is not something we will be able to do,” he explained.
“It’s already very expensive,” he explained.
“Can you continue funding the scholarships?” she asked.
“Yes, but we are relying more on donations than when the scholarship began,” he explained.
“Some people have suggested that you open the scholarship up to boys. Have you considered that?” Kate asked.
“The Foundation discussed that at a meeting a couple of years ago. We decided against it,” he answered.
“Why is that?” she asked.
“One reason is because we’re seeking to destroy the stereotype that Islam oppresses women,” he answered.
“Another is because young men receive large amounts of money from other sources already,” he continued.
“How did the scholarship begin?” she asked.
“My father, Mohammad, envisioned a way to both educate people in America and Europe about Islam, and to provide assistance to those who needed it at the same time,” he answered.
“In the early 1990’s, when I was still a teenager, he began considering a number of proposals,” he continued.
“Finally he decided on a scholarship for young women. He began work on the investments for the massive sum of money it would require, as well as seeking out potential long-term donors to the Foundation,” he added.
“The scholarship was first offered in 2026. Were there a lot of problems getting everything going?” she asked.
“Oh yes. My father passed away in 2005, but the Foundation had already been established by that time. We wanted to make sure the scholarship was self-sufficient and would be able to fund itself off the interest for as long as possible,” he explained.
“A lot of people have wondered about requiring the girls here to wear veils. Like the one I’m wearing now. Why did you think that was so important?” she asked.
“The niqab has really become a focal point of Westerners who misunderstand Islam. We needed to bring it to the forefront and show everyone that it really is not oppressive at all,” he answered.
“Women throughout history have dressed in similar ways throughout many cultures. The only thing different is that niqab covers the mouth, cheeks and nose,” he explained.
“Just look at paintings and pictures of American women in the 18th and 19th centuries. Except for the face veil, they’re pretty well covered up,” he explained.
“I’d like to thank you for your incredible generosity and for meeting with us today,” Kate said.
“You’re welcome,” Faisal replied.
“Good night, and join us next week to see what the girls have been reading while at Hotel Hadith,” Kate told the audience.
“On tonight’s episode of Hadith Styles, the girls discuss some required reading for the seminar,” Kate O’Reilly opened the program.
“For the program we all had to choose one of the four books and then write a report about it.,” Hailey explained.
The program then switched between Hailey, Brittany, Mindi and Sofie as they explained which book they choose and what they gained from reading it.
“Interestingly enough, all four of the books were written by women. I guess men either aren’t interested in writing scholarly material on the subject or female views are vastly preferred,” Hailey informed the audience.
“I choose The Veil Unveiled: The Hijab in Modern Culture. It was written by Faegheh Shirazi and published in 2001,” Hailey explained.
“It’s actually the oldest of the four books we could choose from, but I think it is part of the modern debates and cultural wars that are going on now,” Hailey explained.
“I thought it was funny that some people actually think the veil is sort of sexy. I guess they like mystery or something,” Hailey added.
“But most women want to follow their faith and remain pure,” Hailey concluded.
“I choose Veil: Modesty, Privacy and Resistance by Fadwa El Guindi. It came out in 2003,” Brittany explained.
“It was a whole different perspective from what a lot of people are used to. I don’t think a lot of people understand what the veil is really about,” Brittany added.
“The book focused on how Arab women choose to wear veils, at least a great deal of the time. Sometimes they even have to do so against their family’s wishes,” Brittany pointed out.
“I read Rethinking Muslim Woman and the Veil: Challenging Historical and Modern Stereotypes by Katherine Bullock. It came out in 2007,” Mindi explained.
“It was a really neat book. By the time I was done with it, I didn’t think that Muslim women were forced to wear veils. And that is one of the big questions or one of the big assumptions everyone has about veiling – that men force women to do it,” Mindi added.
“I think that’s why veiling is such an important part of this seminar. We’re supposed to spend our three weeks here learning a lot of different stuff about Islam in general but they make sure that we focus on veiling so we’re not deceived into thinking that Muslim men are forcing their wives and daughters to dress this way. A lot, if not most, are choosing to do so,” she continued.
“If I were married and my husband wanted me to veil, I wouldn’t do it just because he said so,” she added.
“The book discussed the beauty myth in Western cultures and how Muslim women choose to not be part of it,” she concluded.
“I read What is Veiling? by Sahar Amer. It was the newest book we could have read and it came out in 2014” Sofie explained.
“The book discussed the wide variety of veils worn by women around the world,” Sofie explained.
All four of the girls held up copies of their respective books as they explained them to the cameras.
“We asked the girls what they thought about veiled women in the media, and what would happen if they were to write about book about veiling,” the host told the audience.
“I think it’s really neat that there are so many books written about the topic. I mean, if you asked me to write a book about women putting a piece of cloth over their faces I’d have a really hard time writing over 200 pages about that. Or at least I would have before coming to this seminar,” Brittany explained.
“There has been a lot of media coverage about veiled women in a lot of different ways,” Hailey told the camera.
“If you go to YouTube you can find hundreds of videos of women who will show you have to put on hijab or a niqab. A lot of them aren’t even Muslims but they enjoy wearing them,” Hailey explained.
“From what I hear, Americans didn’t see pictures of veiled women all that often 20 or 30 years ago,” Hailey explained.
“Now they’re in magazines, newspapers, movies, museums and Internet news,” Hailey explained.
“If I had to write a book about women wearing veils, I think it would be a lot of pictures and not a lot of writing,” Mindi speculated and laughed.
“I think I’d want to show what women look like naturally, what they look like with a lot of makeup on, and what they look like with a veil on. Then the reader would be able to see the differences,” Mindi added.
“I know the people at home can’t see it because we’re always wearing our niqabs when we’re on camera, but there are a lot of beautiful girls here. I’ve seen them at night when we’re all alone in our rooms and we don’t have to wear our veils. And seeing everyone during the day, when we’re covering up all of our beauty and being mysterious, it really makes me think. And I think anyone reading a book about the veil would benefit from that, as well,” she concluded.
“I wouldn’t know what to write about if I had to write a whole book about veiling. Writing my book report was kind of hard,” Sofie stated.
“When I think about what my book on veiling would be about… I think I would want to focus on why everyone is so interested in it. I mean, a lot of people aren’t interested in veiling in a positive way. They love to trash Muslims or seek to outlaw a woman covering her face, even if it’s part of her religion,” Hailey explained.
“Maybe people are afraid of it. I’m just guessing here, but maybe they think women wearing the veil is a good idea. And that scares them. Women think that wearing one will save them lots of time and money on makeup. Men are scared because they won’t be able to ‘check out’ pretty girls anymore. Parents know that veiling their daughters will protect them,” Hailey said.
“And that has nothing to do with what your religion is. You can be Muslim, Christian, atheist or Bhuddist and still see the merits of wearing a veil,” Hailey continued.
“Does that mean I’m going to wear this after the seminar is over? I wouldn’t count on it, but they did say we can take them home and I will keep mine,” Hailey concluded.
“I hope you enjoyed tonight’s episode. We hope to see you next week for the final farewell to this year’s participants,” Kate O’Reily concluded the episode.
“On tonight’s episode, the girls prepare to depart from Hotel Hadith. Kate O’Reily told the audience.
“I really enjoyed my time here,” Sofie told the audience.
“Coming here really is going to change my life. In addition to the scholarship, I now know a lot more about another culture. Actually, several cultures from around the world,” Brittany told the audience.
“I’m really glad that I came here,” Mindi said.
“It’s never going to be the same when I turn on the news and see a veiled woman,” Hailey said.
The girls were each given a gift basket as a departing gift. Inside was a cookbook of Islamic approved meals, gift cards to various places, and contact information for a girl in a Muslim country that they could become pen pals with.
The show concluded with the forty-seven girls who passed the seminar waving to the camera. It was a sea of black niqabs, with only the eyes of the girls visible. Some of them wore gloves over their hands, but most of them did not.
Like all of the classes before them, the girls got in their cabs or on the bus and were taken to the airport. As long as they followed all of the rules of the morals clause, a large percentage of their college expenses would be paid for.
“I hope you enjoyed the first season of Hadith Styles,” Kate concluded the season.
As Hailey flew home to enjoy the rest of her summer, she couldn’t help but wonder how here future would be affected by the seminar. She looked forward to one day meeting some of the friends she made, and being able to spend time with them without having to be covered up.
Several weeks later, after production and editing were over, Hailey was watching Hadith Styles with two of her friends.
“What did you do there again?” Carrie asked.
“You’ll see in just a minute,” Hailey told her.
“You dressed up like a Muslim woman for three weeks,” Joyce pointed out.
“Yes,” Hailey told them.
“And they made a TV show about it?” Joyce asked.
“Yes. And the show was planned long before I arrived,” Hailey pointed out.
“How many weeks is it going to be on?” Joyce asked.
“It’s going to be on for eleven weeks,” Hailey told her.
“We’re going to spend every Tuesday night for the next eleven weeks watching you on TV?” Carrie asked.
“Yes,” Hailey told them.
“But we can’t actually see you,” Joyce pointed out.
“I don’t think you’re going to,” Hailey told her.
“I would never have applied for a reality show where you’d never see my face,” Joyce pointed out.
“No, you’d apply for the one where you’d only be wearing your bikini the whole time,” Carrie told her.
“I didn’t apply to get on TV. I applied for the scholarship and went to the seminar. They were making a show about the place and I’m one of the few they focused on,” Hailey told them.
“This should be interesting,” Carrie told her.
“Let’s watch,” Hailey told them.
The girls watched Hadith Styles over the coming weeks.
“I can’t believe you dressed like that for three weeks,” Carrie told Hailey.
“Did you really mean all of those things you said about men respecting women by making them wear veils? And using a computer so they won’t see women’s faces when they watch TV?” Joyce asked.
“I had to be careful what I said. You know, just to make sure I didn’t risk losing the scholarship,” Hailey said.
“But yeah, I mean it is kind of cool that there are men who would do that,” Hailey said.
“So you don’t think those men are out to subjugate women by making them veil?” Joyce asked.
“Subjugate?” Carrie asked.
“Yes, it means to make someone a subject of or a second-class citizen,” Joyce replied.
“I know what it means. I’m just not used to hearing you say such big words,” Carrie said.
“Oh shut up,” Joyce said.
“I used to think like that. A little bit. I guess I never really gave Muslim women veiling a lot of thought before going to the seminar,” Hailey said.
“Could you image trying to get a guy dressed up in one of those veils?” Carrie asked.
“It would be pretty challenging,” Hailey pointed out.
“Now that you’ve been on national TV do you think you’ll ever have another show?” Joyce asked.
“It won’t be anytime soon. I won’t have time in college and one of the clauses is that I can’t do any other television shows until after I graduate,” Hailey said.
Hailey’s friends went back to their rooms. Her roommate had gone home for the weekend so she had the place all to herself. Hailey knew that she needed to study for her exams, but all she could think about was her experience at the Hotel Hadith.
She began drawing doodles of women’s eyes. Then she would draw pictures of women adorned in niqabs and burqas. Then she began drawing mosques and the crescent and star.
“I’m not a Muslim. Why do I keep thinking about all of this stuff?” Hailey thought.
“I just need to follow the rules about all the stuff I can’t do and I’ll get my scholarship money. People will soon forget all about that show, she thought
Before going to bed, Hailey checked her email.
This is Jamar with the Muslim Campus Society. We have been watching you on the television show Hadith Styles and we are all big fans.
We would like you to come to our group and discuss your experiences at the Hotel Hadith.
We don’t expect you to be covered, but if you choose to we would support such a decision.
We would be honored to have you. Please email me back if you are interested.
Hailey wondered about going to a meeting of Muslim Campus Society.
“I’ll have to sleep on it,” she thought.
After she brushed her teeth, she got a wash cloth and then hopped into bed. She covered her hair with a blanket and her face with the cloth. She drifted to sleep, all the time thinking about her appearances on Hadith Styles.
The next morning she woke up, brushed her teeth and got ready for the day.
After she was back from her classes, she picked up the phone and called her mother.
“Mom, would you get one of the niqabs and abayas I brought home from the seminar,” she asked.
“Yes dear. What do you want me to do with them?” her mother asked.
“Put them into a box and mail them to me,” she asked.
“What do you need it for?” she asked.
“It’s for a class. I’m trying to get extra credit,” she said.
Hailey was going to use it at her appearance at the Muslim Campus Society meeting.