SHAFAQNA (International Shia News Agency) – Excited by last two year’s success of the event, the ‘World Hijab Day’ organizers expect participation of over 10 million Muslims and non-Muslims worldwide to join on February 10, 2015 to express solidarity with those wearing hijab, experience what the hijab is all about and reject discrimination based on religion and lifestyle.
“Our mission is to have 10 Million participants on February 1st, 2015 worldwide, Insha’Allah! The event is being organized since last two years for ‘better awareness’, ‘greater understanding’ and a ‘peaceful world’, and to foster global religious tolerance through Hijab awareness”, the organizers said in a statement posted on Facebook.
“On this day, we ask non-Muslim and non-Hijabi Muslim women worldwide to observe Hijab for a day. It will be a day for everyone willing to experience what it’s like to step inside the shoes of a Hijabi. Our hopes are no less than that. We wish you will gain a wealth of knowledge and experience a slightly different definition of freedom”, the Word Hijab Day (WHD) organizers say on its Facebook page.
According to the WHD Facebook page, the brainchild of this movement is a New York resident, Nazma Khan, who came up with the idea as a means to foster religious tolerance and understanding by inviting women (non-Muslims) to experience the hijab for one day.
For many people, the hijab is a symbol of oppression and segregation. By opening up new pathways to understanding, Nazma hopes counteract some of the controversies surrounding why Muslim women choose to wear the hijab.
“World Hijab Day is not an act of worship but rather an effective way to create global awareness of the issue that is being attacked unfairly.It has achieved some great success already. Alhamdulillah”, Mufti Ismail Menk is quoted on WHD Facebook page.
“I believe the concept of bringing attention to the modest attire that Islam encourages women to wear is something extremely positive and beneficial, especially in today’s fashion-obsessed and scantily-clad societies. Allah created us to love modesty, and modesty is a part of faith. Projects such as the ‘Word Hijab Day’ help us spread these values and showcase our religion in a positive manner”, says Dr. Yasir Qadhi.
From America, Canada, Australia, Brunai and United Kingdom to India, Gambia, Malaysia, Nigeria, South Africa and Trinidad and Tobago, preparations are on everywhere by the WHD volunteers to reach the target.
And even though few days are still left for the actual event to be observed on Sunday, the WHD facebook page is already abuzz with posts by Muslims and non-Muslims from different parts of the world who want to share their ‘Hijab’ experience with others.
“I love wearing a hijab. I feel very beautiful. Even though my spiritual practice is that of the Hindu faith, not Islam, wearing a hijab just makes me feel more beautiful and unique. The sad part is when I get “Angry” stares from those who are ignorant. But I don’t get offended, they don’t know me, and they cannot bring me down. And even when I do get stares, I feel strong and empowered. I don’t wear a veil because I am told to, I wear it because I choose to”, Adreena a Hindu, who lives in California, USA writes on WHD facebook page.
“I actually wear hijab in secret. I am Christian and Cherokee from Minneapolis, MN and it is not widely accepted here. It is unlikely to receive support from friends and some family. Therefore, I only wear hijab when I know I will not run into them.
“I feel so much more comfortable covering up. Hijab has been speaking to me for a long time and World Hijab Day is the first day I will proudly wear hijab in front of friends and family. I am hoping I can find the courage to continue wearing hijab happily and proudly for many days to come after. It is hard without support, but I think I have found truth in hijab”, Juliana, an American Christian, wrote.