CAIRO – Almost one million participants are expected to mark the second 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.
“My hijaab is my swag, I don’t brag but I drag my wisdom from the Qur’an,” Zainab Warda Mohammed, a Muslim from Germany, said in a post on World Hijab Day facebook page.
“It Covers my hair not my brain and reveals my dignity not my body.”
Mohammed is one of an expected one million participants in this year’s World Hijab Day next February 1.
The event, held for the second 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.
Last year, 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 last 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.
Getting huge support on the Facebook, the event was also supported by Mufti Ismail Menk who praised it as creating a much needed awareness about hijab.
“A large number of non-Muslims show great support for our sisters and get a first hand feel of the hijab by donning it for a day,” he said in a stamtent on Facebook last week.
“Amongst other benefits from last years experience was that many non-Muslims have since actively supported the hijab and show greater appreciation and respect for hijabis.”
“The idea is also to support those of us shying away due to the incorrect perceptions of the hijab to take the steps we’ve been longing to take,” he added.
Mufti Menk added that the event was expected to correct misconceptions about hijab.
“When the world understands what hijab is, where it comes from and why it is donned, it will appreciate that banning it would do more harm than good,” he said.
“World Hijab Day is simply to create awareness and educate the world and because reminding is beneficial to all, World Hijab Day is held annually.”
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.