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Exploring discrimination can be a difficult task for most of us. What we see is only the surface of a deeper issue. The purpose of this activity is to give participants a close look on how discrimination works and how the issue is affecting the targeted person.


  • Seven large scarves that can be draped over a volunteer’s head obscuring their vision, a slideshow with the statements from the annexed document, projected in the room.


  1. Ask a participant to volunteer to stand in the middle of the room.
  2. Start projecting the statements from the annex on the screen, one by one. For each statement, ask a person from the group to read it out and afterwards to place a veil over the participant in the middle of the room.
  3. Repeat this process for the first seven statements. Once all seven veils have been placed over the volunteer, the second set of statements is read out, in the same manner only this time after each statement a veil is removed.
  4. Check how the volunteer and the participants are feeling, as this can be a very emotional activity, hurting their feelings or making them feel bad.
  5. Reconvene the group and have a discussion on the questions below.
  6. Do a shake-out activity after the debriefing (e.g. shaking each body part, one by one, from head to toes, for removing the negative energy from the bodies of the ones present).


  • How was it? How did you feel during this activity?
  • What did the person who put the veil felt when he/she had to do that?
  • What did they feel the moment the veils came off?
  • Why do you think we did this activity?
  • What could we learn from this activity?
  • Is this similar with any situation from your life/community?


Facilitator notes:

It is important that this activity is done in a serious atmosphere, with no jokes, interruptions etc.

Ask the participant to read loud and clear from the screen and to be as close as possible to the volunteer in the middle of the room.

Adapted from: Young People and Extremism, A resource pack for youth Workers, British Council 2017 – The Veil Exercise – by Farkhanda Chaudry and Ghizala Avan


Statements to Read/Project on the Screen


Starting slide (will be read but not counted among the first seven statements): “Yasmin is a 22-year old working woman who is single and lives with her parents.”

  1. Today I come home from work and my mother tells me someone pulled her headscarf off and told her she didn’t belong in this country. I feel hurt and angry
  2. I go to work after the terrorist bombing incident and my colleagues are talking about this. When I enter the room, they all become silent. I feel confused.
  3. When I hear the news on television, I understand that they blame my parents’ country for this bombing incident and are now going to bomb the city my parents come from. I feel very angry and feel there is no justice.
  4. I have been thinking about wearing a hijab and choose to wear it because it is the right time for me. I notice the looks of hatred I get when I walk down the street. I feel isolated and that I don’t belong.
  5. I go online and start chatting with other people who are like me and feel they, as well as Muslims across the world, are being victimised. I feel anger at the oppression Muslims are facing.
  6. My parents tell me that they don’t want me to wear a hijab as it is not safe. They also tell me that I spend too much time in my own room and don’t talk to them. I feel they don’t accept me and don’t know me any longer.
  7. I talk to a girl who is in Syria and is married to one of the ‘freedom fighters’. I begin to think that I want to do the same. I feel frightened and feel I’m losing control over my life.


  1. My mother comes home and tells me her hijab was pulled off, but a few people who were there at the time helped her and called the police. I feel proud of the community!
  2. After the terrorist bombing incident in my country, I go to work and my colleagues who were talking about it become silent. Later on, I talk about the issue at lunch and explain how the people who carried out the bombings are not accepted as Muslims and they are criminals. I feel listened to and accepted!
  3. I hear the news and find out they are planning to bomb my parents’ country for the bombing incident. I organise a petition and get thousands of people to sign it, including people at work. I feel I am helping to make a difference!
  4. I decide to wear the headscarf and before I do this I start discussing this with my family, friends and colleagues. I also start a small campaign called ‘see me, not my headscarf’. I feel empowered and in control of my life!
  5. I go online and start chatting and hear that Muslims across the world are being victimised. I speak to my family and friends and get a more balanced view and understand that all communities have oppressors and victims. It is a human rights issue. I feel more informed about the complexity of situations!
  6. A local NGO has decided to tackle the problem of increasing segregation between Muslims and non-Muslims. They organise an environmental project to bring all communities together. I feel part of my community and involved!
  7. I hear how ISIS is recruiting young women and I find out real stories about how these women are mistreated and oppressed and let other young women know. I create a safe environment for young women to discuss these issues. I feel I am making a difference to the lives of others!






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