Saharlar sees fundamentalist fervor in action:
She was a cute girl with long blond hair and blue eyes. She had braided her hair and her bangs made her look younger. She was playing with her hair and humming a song to her doll. As her mom searched for something in her purse, the lady next to her struck up a conversation:
Lady: What grade are you in?
Girl: Fourth grade.
Lady: Well, I see you have reached puberty. Why, then, haven't you covered your head with a scarf?
I was stunned for a moment by her question. The girl whispered something that I didn't catch.
The stranger raised her voice. Whether she wanted to get the crowd's attention or scare the little girl, I wouldn't know:
Lady: What about your prayers. Tell me, do you offer prayers?
The little girl gave her a baffled look, and before she could produce an answer, the bus came to a halt and the lady got off. The girl retreated into her mom's chador and stared at the road. She didn't sing afterward, nor did she play with her hair.