California Muslim Students Host Hijab Day

ORANGE, California – Muslim students at Chapman University, California, hosted the second “Hijab & Kufi Day” March 1, seeking to engage the community and raise awareness about the Islamic headwear.

Coming in its second year, the first event was hosted a year ago to protest sentiments behind President Donald Trump’s January 2017 travel ban.

“At that point in time, the Muslims on campus felt like they needed to do something,” Muhammad Karkoutli, president of Muslim Student Association (MSA), told The Panther.

“This year, it’s a way to engage the community and raise awareness on the hijab and kufi. (We want to share) our tradition and expose it to the public, sparking a dialogue,” he added.

The kufi is a traditional cap worn by Muslim men, and the hijab is a headscarf worn voluntarily by Muslim women.

Along with trying hijab, a Muslim student drew henna to the people who attended the event.

“Everyone in the Chapman community was so welcoming to our event and I was so excited seeing people I have never met before asking a little about Islam,” said Hakeem Wakil, the MSA treasurer.

“Our goal in MSA is to play a positive role in the Chapman community, and I feel like Hijab and Kufi Day has done just that.”

MSA is a nationwide nonprofit organization that brings students together and promotes tolerance, according to its website. There are 98 registered MSA chapters across the U.S.

“(MSA) is not exclusively for Muslims, it’s open to the public,” Karkoutli said.

“(We want to provide a space) where people who are interested in Islam or happen to be Muslim can meet up, socialize, and learn from one another.”

Noor Dababneh, a Jordanian Christian and a peace studies major, is a non-Muslim member of the nationwide group.

“It’s important for me to be a part of MSA because there’s (this) sense of community,” Dababneh said.

“I get to meet people who are from the same background as me and have things in common.”