(CNN) – In a crowd, you don’t notice Marwa Abdelghani. Since she was a senior in high school, Abdelghani wore the traditional scarf whenever she was in public, part of her Islamic faith, culture and identity.
This presidential election, that changed. Abdelghani said, “I was walking on the street and a driver drove by me and slowed down, rolled down his window and he just spit at me.”
Since the election, the Southern Poverty Law Center has tracked more than 700 hate incidents. Muslim women say a year ago their sense of safety began to change after the picture of San Bernardino killer Tashfeen Malik went public.
Muslim women began taking self-defense classes, driven by fear. Abdelghani noted, “The headscarf has become something that went from being a very spiritual element of a woman’s life, to be something where she had to be scared to wear it. I, myself, didn’t feel like I wanted to continue with that fear.”
The only places where Abdelghani feels free to express that part of Islam is in the privacy of her apartment and her mosque.
To the incoming Trump administration, this young Muslim woman has this message. She said, “When you hold that kind of position and you think it’s okay to make these racist, Islamaphobic, sexist statements, there are people unfortunately, as crazy as they are, who look up to you. And they will follow you. And they will act out in response to what you’re saying.”