In the middle of a busy Italian city, a group of women are wearing clothes they made themselves.
As they stroll through the streets, a young man stops them to thank them for making their way to the next destination.
The group of around a dozen young women, who are dressed in traditional Muslim garb, laugh and chat as they walk past.
They say they have no plans to stop wearing their clothes, but they have decided to wear them for their religious rituals.
The women say they are just following the dictates of the Islamic law and want to protect their modesty.
It’s not an easy thing to do, especially as Muslim women in Italy are often forced to wear their face veil, which covers the entire face.
But some of the women say the veil is an integral part of their religious identity.
In Italy, more than 20 million Muslims have declared themselves as Muslims.
They live in the city of Milan, which is home to the largest Muslim population in Europe.
They call themselves the Bolognese Muslims, and they have a strong connection to their community.
For many of them, the veil means a lot more than a headscarf.
It symbolizes a way of life, one that gives them a sense of belonging to a community, says Amaury Salva, a 22-year-old member of the B.M.N. who is dressed in a hijab and wears a head scarf in a place called St. George’s Square.
Salva says she feels a connection to the Muslim community, even if she doesn’t have any specific ties.
She has had a Muslim friend since she was a child, but she also has a Hindu friend who is also Muslim.
She believes her religion and faith is a part of who she is.
Salvas hijab, a traditional head scarf, is seen at St. Georges Square in Milan.
For others, it is an important part of belonging.
For Ibrahim, a 30-year old Muslim woman who works in a shop, the hijab is part of her identity.
When she was growing up, she didn’t wear it.
But after she married her first husband, she decided to cover up her face in order to keep the marriage ceremony peaceful.
“My husband wanted me to stay at home, so he made me wear a veil,” she says.
“Now, I am happy because I have this faith that I am here with all my family, my husband, and the community.”
But others, like Salva and Ibrahim, say they do not feel the same way.
For one, the traditional Muslim clothing is considered outdated in modern times, especially in Italy.
For another, women who wear the hijab are often pressured to wear it to avoid offending men.
In many Muslim countries, there are strict rules on wearing the head scarf to avoid suspicion.
And because wearing the hijab can be a sign of disrespect to a man, many Muslim women have decided not to wear the veil to avoid it.
“We don’t want to be treated like the ‘other’ people,” says Salva.
“But we want to keep our religion and identity.”