In 2015, Hollywood star Lindsay Lohan was criticised in the US for carrying the Quran while walking the streets of New York. This year she donned a headscarf while working with Syrian refugees in Turkey and threw the media in a frenzy.
In an interview with Turkish TV channel Haber Turk, Lindsay opens up about the recent events in her life that made headlines for all the wrong reasons.
The Parent Trap actor explained how she felt like an outsider in her own country after being ‘crucified’ for holding the Quran in the US.
“This was just me holding it and walking… the paparazzi had been across the street… and they crucified me for it in America. They made me seem like Satan; I was a bad person for holding the Quran. I’m so happy to have left and gone back to London after that because I felt so unsafe in my own country. And this is my belief, if this is something I want to learn then this is my personal will, it’s not for you to express,” she said.
Lindsay’s tumultuous life was in the public eye for years, she explains that her close friends in London and Saudi Arabia had given her the Quran to help her through the difficult time she was facing in the US. “[They] gave me the Quran and I brought it to New York because I was learning and it opened doors for me to experience and spiritually to find another true meaning,” she explains.
But having faced that ordeal, she finally understood “why women who wear headscarves are looked at differently,” because she felt like an ‘outsider’ too.
Earlier this month, Lindsay visited the Syrian refugees camps in Turkey and during her visit she was presented with a headscarf by one of the refugees. The headscarf on the Hollywood actor’s head soon made headlines in the West.
“When the woman put that headscarf on me, I felt really honoured because she went out of her own way to allow me to be a part of my own culture and she didn’t have to do that. I was a stranger to her,” explains the actor.
“I said I really liked the colour of her headscarf and she gave it to me, and maybe she had two and she gave me one – there’s more in the story that occurred. Because this woman took the time to give me this, and a part of herself, not even knowing me, I’m not taking it off.”
She admits that wearing the headscarf made her think twice about how the media will portray her and she was scared she that it might misconstrue as something else rather than the truth that lay behind it.
“It should make headlines [her wearing the headscarf] because in Turkey you have the free will as a woman if you want to [wear a headscarf] or if you don’t want to, that’s why it’s amazing here because you can choose why you want it and it’s accepted. Whereas in America, I’m holding the Quran and I’m the devil.”
Although Lindsay’s trip to Turkey was for a work obligation, she decided to stay. Soon things started aligning and she was helping Syrian Refugees. She feels “it’s about time we recognised the truth and start doing something.”
“Everything happens for a reason,” she explains. “I left, came back, hurt my finger, I couldn’t leave, I had to stay. But that happening to me was an eye opening experience, because everybody said ‘Should we stop? We’ll postpone everything’, and my first thought was ‘Are you kidding me?’ Why would I stop? Why would you stop because my finger hurt, when someone had their legs blown off?'”
She first got to know about the problem in Turkey through the coup, that’s when she knew she had to help. “A lot of it was around when the couphappened. Just seeing the whole country stand up for each other. That was very emotional for me. All these people in one place… all supporting one another. And that’s a really powerful, strong front.”