'Grey's Anatomy' Touched on Islamic Faith This Week & As Per Usual, It Was Woke AF

Catch Shonda Rhimes outside shattering stereotypes and breaking boundaries for the nth week in a row. In this week’s episode, “You Really Gotta Hold on Me,” least annoying new intern Dahlia Qadri saved a young a boy’s life when she made the split-second decision to tourniquet his femoral bleed using her hijab, right in the middle of a public hallway.

After a DIY chemistry experiment gone horribly wrong, a teenager and his little brother found themselves in the ER. Not quite understanding the severity of his situation, the teen yanked a piece of shrapnel out of his leg, leading to a rapid arterial bleed. Qadri, slightly panicked as she called out for help, placed her hand over the wound. With only a few moments of time before the bleed could turn fatal, she unraveled her hijab one handed, quickly using it to staunch the flow of blood. When Doctor Hunt appeared, she seemed surprised about her choice, stuttering out that she hadn't known what else to do. 

As they wheeled him to the OR, he assured her that she had done well, and as they were scrubbing in, Hunt commended Qadri on her quick thinking. “I’m surprised you just took your hijab off like that.”

“Well, I mean it’s a symbol of my faith, but my faith is about service and compassion, and he was bleeding really fast," she answered, before going to help apply his surgical drapes. 

She donned a surgical cover for the surgery, and continued to wear it for the rest of her shift. At the end of the episode, Hunt returned her scarf, having had it cleaned for her. She pulled off the cover and wrapped the scarf back around her hair quickly, without leaving the nurses station where she’d been sitting.

Grey’s Anatomy may be fiction, but it’s constantly weaving in timely, real-world storylines among the colorful, entertaining drama. This season, perhaps more than ever, has so much we could stand to learn from. 

Typically, Muslim women who wear headscarves wear them in the presence of men that they are not related to, as a symbol of modesty and faith. However, as Qadri mentioned, the Islamic faith is also about service and compassion, and when faced with what might be a difficult crossroads for some, maintaining her modesty versus saving the life of a child, she took no time at all to decide.

Hopefully, more shows will follow Grey’s'  lead, and more importantly, hopefully audiences will open their minds and take a moment to learn more about what they don’t know, instead of believing what they've heard secondhand. Shonda's shows have been starting a number of conversations that need to be had this year, and I can't wait to see what conversation she starts next.

And please, when your racist uncle goes off on an anti-Muslim rant at your next family gathering, don't say silent or walk away. Speak up, and continue the conversation.