Mirvette Judeh began covering her hijab with a hoodie two weeks ago while in the car with her two young children. Someone might want to hurt their mother, she explained to them, because the head scarf easily identifies her as Muslim.

"Now I have to have these conversations with my kids," said Judeh, 39, who lives in southern California. "That's what breaks my heart — to tell my kids that a choice I made to stand up for my religion could make me unsafe."

As an anti-Muslim backlash swells across the United States following the Dec. 2 massacre by a young Muslim couple inspired by Islamic State in San Bernardino, California, many young Muslim families say they fear for their safety and are struggling with their American and Muslim identities.