Daniel Piotrowski   - For the past seven days Kate Leaney, 27, a committed Christian, has attracted curious looks on the street.

That’s because she has been wearing a hijab everyday in an act of ‘love and solidarity’ with her many Muslim friends.

Recently, mates of the asylum-seeker worker, who is from Adelaide, have said they are scared to wear the head-dress in public. Their concerns followed incidents in the past few weeks involving alleged terror suspects as well as a rise in reported anti-Islamic attacks.

‘After the news I saw on TV, i don’t want to tell people I’m a Muslim!’ one friend texted Ms Leaney. ‘I think Australians don’t like Muslims!’

So last week she decided to take a stand, don the headscarf and send a message of ‘love over fear’.

On the seventh day of wearing her headscarf, Ms Leaney today told Daily Mail Australia that it had been an interesting, although sometimes confronting, experience. On the one hand, the reaction from her friends was ‘overwhelmingly positive’. Many friends who wore a headscarf thanked her for her efforts.

‘I was getting messages from (my friends)...They were fearful of retribution or getting racially attacked and I wanted to do something,’ Ms Leaney said. ‘It wasn’t so much about educating the public but standing in solidarity with my friends who are Muslims and showing them they should be able to walk in public and feel safe.’

‘There’s a real sense of gratitude for someone who doesn’t identify as Muslim wearing it. Most of the reaction has been overwhelming and positive.’

Ms Leaney said one the best examples was when the mother of one of her friends, a Muslim woman in her 40s who speaks very little English, was heartened by her actions.

‘She’s worn a headscarf for her entire life and for the first time has considered taking it off, because of what it would result in.’ ‘His heart was breaking for his mum... Him telling her what I was doing for the week had given her a little security or hope she could continue to wear it.’ But it wasn’t all smooth sailing. She experienced many of the negatives women who wear the hijab experience in Australia - particularly, an underlying sense some people felt suspicious of her. ‘I have had looks and seen people looking really uncertain... or I get a feeling someone is not happy with it (the hijab).’ Some people were more blatant. A petrol station worker quizzed her about the hijab, asking: ‘Why would you wear that, when you look like them?’

Ms Leaney faced hostility from some people in the Christian community. She has copped abuse on social media. A mother and her daughter even crossed the road to apparently avoid her.

‘It could have been a coincidence, but there seemed to be no other reason,’ Ms Leaney said. ‘Simply because of a piece of fabric on my head, when if I wasn’t wearing it she probably would have engaged me in a conversation or dialogue’. And despite being the type of person who ‘always’ gets stopped by security at the airport, she said she faced the most intense security check of her life greeting a friend at Adelaide Airport.

The search included her hijab, her clothing and in the depths of her bag. ‘I can’t read too much into it, but it was definitely interesting,’ she said.

A spokeswoman for the Australian National Imams Council this week said a passerby allegedly ripped a hijab from a woman’s head this week.

Other Islamophobic incidents included a pig’s head being placed on a cross out the front of a mosque and car in south-west Sydney vandalised with anti-Muslim graffiti.

These incidents occurred following the release of a number of beheading videos by the Islamic State terror group, the largest counter-terrorism raids in Australia’s history this month, and the stabbing of two police officers by Numan Haider, 18, in Melbourne’s south-east.

The chief of the Islamic community, Grand Mufti Dr Ibrahim Abu Mohammed, condemned the Islamic State’s ‘fatwa’ against Australians and other Westerners earlier this week and many Muslims have joined a viral worldwide phenomenon where they have taken pictures of themselves holding signs saying the actions of the Islamic State were  #NotInMyname.  Ms Leaney said her experience reminded her that many Islamic women often encounter distrust and suspicion wearing the hijab. ‘I have had a few negative moments, and that was always bound to happen,’ Ms Leaney said. ‘I think it highlights for people who are hijabis, they experience this everyday, not just the week I decided to wear this,’ she said. ‘That’s their everyday life.’– Daily Mail