News 12 — Behind the Veil: Barriers and bias

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Boston Children’s Health Physicians Pediatric Pulmonologist Esra Caylan MD was profiled in a News 12 Westchester Special on Muslims in our community.

Picture1THORNWOOD –  Esra Caylan MD, is a pediatric pulmonologist with the Children’s and Women’s Physicians of Westchester, says her young patients and their parents are sometimes shocked by her Muslim clothing.

“Sometimes, I can see on their face they are like, ‘Who is this?'” Dr. Caylan says. “When they know you are a good doctor, doing a good job with their kid, it doesn’t matter where you are coming from or what you are wearing.”

Many Muslim women say that one of the biggest misconceptions about their religion is that they are treated unfairly. Women are often required to cover up with headscarves to enter their mosques and pray. Many wear similar cover in public.

Still, Muslim women’s attire here in the U.S. can often draw unwanted or unnerving attention from strangers.

And Dr. Caylan says she was once heckled in the middle of the street in Manhattan.

But behind the veil, Caylan says she wants what all mothers want, happiness for their children.