Jeddah – February 1st, women from all regions of the world are celebrating World Hijab Day.
Awareness events are being held at schools, universities, and places of worship where women are coming together, wearing the hijab (headscarf), and spreading understanding of what the hijab really represents. Muslim women who have not taken the step to wear the hijab and even non-Muslim women will wear the hijab for just one day, in solidarity with their sisters across the world who do wear the hijab. The goal is to dispel the common stereotypes about the hijab; that it oppresses women and limits them and that women who wear the hijab are repressed, docile, passive, and have no say in their lives.
The idea is that before non-covering women make judgments about covering women, they should try covering up for one day and they will discover that women shrouded in the headscarf and loose, flowing clothes are surprisingly strong, determined, active, and extremely decisive of how they choose to lead their lives. Muslim women wear the hijab or headscarf in adherence and devotion to their faith. The hijab in the past was not foreign to followers of other religions. The headscarf was a requirement in many other religions, such as Christianity, Judaism, and Hinduism. The headscarf has faded in most other cultures and lived on to the modern day mainly among Muslims. However in America, women in Amish and Mennonite communities cover their hair to this day.
The message of one woman celebrating World Hijab Day in Asia is, “I wear hijab because it is part of my faith and I feel liberated with what protects my modesty.” A beautiful Christian woman married to a Muslim said that she will wear the hijab for a day in support of the Muslim women who wear it every day. Female staff and students at Pleckgate High School in East Lancashire in the UK celebrated World Hijab Day last year and are celebrating it again today. Teachers and girls of all faiths wore the hijab for one day to understand and appreciate the culture of their Muslim friends.
Shahiesta Raja, at Pleckgate High School, said: “Staff and pupils, Muslim and non-Muslim wore the hijab all day as a way of increasing understanding and promoting the spiritual, moral, cultural and social awareness of our pupils.”
A group of students, from diverse backgrounds, majoring in religious studies at Nelson and Colne College in the UK also took part in the hijab awareness day.
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