CAIRO – Millions of participants are expected to mark the fourth World Hijab day next February 1, creating the much needed awareness of hijab as a Muslim women right and educating the masses about the origins and reasons for the Islamic headwear.
This is the second year I’ve participated in WHD. As a Non Muslim I’m wearing the hijab to stand in solidarity with my Muslim sisters who face discrimination every day and to take a stand against bigotry and intolerance,” Angela Davis wrote in a post on World Hijab Day Facebook page.
“Every Muslim woman should have the right to wear the hijab without persecution or fear.”
Davis is one of an expected one million participants in this year’s World Hijab Day next February 1.
The event, held for the fourth consecutive year, was first suggested by New York woman Nazma Khan to encourage non-Muslim women to don the hijab and experience it.
It was designed as part of a bid to foster better understanding and counteract controversies surrounding hijab as a Muslim choice.
Four years ago, Khan’s suggestion soon found support from all over the world with the group’s literature translated into 22 languages.
She has also been contacted by people in dozens of countries, including the UK, Australia, India, Pakistan, France and Germany.
By opening up new pathways to understanding, Nazma hopes to counteract some of the controversies surrounding why Muslim women choose to wear the hijab.
During the first year’s event, Jess Rhodes, a student from the UK, was one of the thousands of participants who chose to wear hijab in response to World Hijab Day.
A few days later, she decided to explore the Qur’an in order to fully understand Islam. It was through reading the Qur’an that she found a sense of peace and chose to convert to Islam.
Across the globe, women were preparing for the awaited event next Monday, February 1, from America and Europe to Asia and Africa.
To me, it’s [Hijab] a reminder to be a good person and it gives me confidence as a young Muslim woman,” Naballah Chi, a Muslim woman from Trinidad & Tobago, said in her story shared on the event website.
“I realized that Hijab made me focus on my inner self more. Some people think that veiled women are oppressed, but I feel more empowered than ever, even though I did struggle to come to terms with it at first.”
Islam sees hijab as an obligatory code of dress, not a religious symbol displaying one’s affiliations.
Hijab has been in the eye of storm since France banned the headscarf in public places in 2004.
Since then, several European countries have followed suit.