Tahera Rahman made history last week when she became the first Muslim hijab-wearing woman to present a TV news report.
After years of internships and working as a behind-the-camera producer, Local 4 News, the CBS affiliate for the Quad Cities region on the Illinois-Iowa border, hired Rahman to report onscreen for its news program.
“I didn’t have anyone who looked like me on TV,” Rahman said.
She appeared before the cameras wearing a black and green hijab, reporting about funding for health clinics.
Despite many rejections over the years, Rahman refused to give up on her dream of appearing on air. “I was like, someday, someone is going to notice the work I’m putting in and give me a chance,” she told Local 4 News.
She told the Des Moines Register that she always knew it was going to be difficult to break into the world of television.
“When people said it was going to be tough, I was just like, I know, but life is tough,” Rahman said. “People live in places where it is hard to even practice journalism in general. I live in America, and I was born and raised with the values of equality and democracy and hard work getting you to your dream, to the American dream.”
She said her goal was to change people’s perceptions of Muslims.
Tahera Rahman becomes the 1st full-time, hijab-wearing TV reporter in the U.S.
— Women in the World (@WomenintheWorld) February 27, 2018
“What I prayed for every night for years is to be able to soften people’s hearts and basically be a light for people in a scary world with a lot of misconceptions,” Rahman told the Register.
According to The Muslim American Women In Media Facebook group, Rahman’s report is groundbreaking.
Local 4 News echoed the view, saying,”We believe Tahera is now the first full-time reporter who is a Muslim woman to wear a hijab on mainstream TV news in the United States.”