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World Hijab Day: Breaking Stereotypes, Shattering Boundaries

WASHINGTON, DC – Millions of participants are expected to mark the seventh World Hijab day next February 1, in solidarity with Muslim women around the world.

“World Hijab Day (WHD) is an annual event in its 7th year. On Feb 1st of every year, World Hijab Day Organization asks global citizens of all faiths to observe Hijab for a day in solidarity with Muslim women worldwide,” the organization wrote on Facebook.

Marked across over 140 countries, WHD is aimed at fostering religious tolerance and understanding by inviting non-Hijabi Muslims and non-Muslims to experience the hijab for one day.

In its seventh version, the brainchild of New York-based Nazma Khan, comes under the motto, “Breaking Stereotypes | Shattering Boundaries.”

“The overall mission of WHD is to create a more peaceful world where global citizens respect each other. Particularly, WHD focuses on fighting bigotry, discrimination, and prejudice against Muslim women,” the organization wrote.

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“This is most crucial in these times where Hijab is being banned in some countries while in other countries, Muslim women are being targeted and harassed verbally and physically.”

In the days leading up to February 1, women have started sharing their experiences of wearing the hijab on social media under the hashtag #WorldHijabDay. This year’s slogan is #FreeInHijab.

Nazma Khan, a New York native, initiated this global movement with the intent of bringing awareness on a subject that’s very dear to her and millions of Muslim women across the globe.

While growing up in NYC, she was harassed both physically and emotionally on numerous occasions. The presence of such discrimination heightened around 9/11 because of her human right to wear the hijab.

Consequently, on February 1st, 2013, she asked her fellow sisters of all faiths across the globe to don the hijab for one day.

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.