Deciding what outfit to wear as a Muslim writer setting off to report on a far-right event is at least as complicated as getting ready for an important job interview. This isn’t because I want to impress the local neo-Nazis with my high-level grooming skills, but because when I’m keeping that kind of company I’m torn between the desire to pass unnoticed and the desire to set myself apart. On the one hand I don’t want to be mistaken for a supporter of the self-styled patriots’ movement. On the other hand, I don’t want to get beaten up.
In the end, I always settle for a hybrid ethnic-lite ensemble -- jeans and a long tunic with a scarf draped across my shoulders, ready to be pulled up over my hair should I suddenly feel the need to signal my ethno-religious identity. My brown skin already sets me apart from most of the patriots, so I’m not really putting myself at further risk by indulging in this small gesture of defiance. And it seems important to clearly signal that my physical proximity to white supremacists and neo-Nazis does not make me their fellow-traveler.