NEW JERSEY – Muslim students in New Jersey’s Ramapo College have invited their colleagues to try on hijab for one day, as part of events hosted by the Muslim Student Association to mark Women HerStory Month, Ramapo News reported.
“We’re trying to bring us [hijabis] together,” said junior Rand Abdul-Razik of MSA about the event held this week.
“Even if some of our members don’t wear hijabs, or if they do, it’s just a way to spread awareness about the culture.”
The event organizers said they wanted to remind others that wearing a hijab is a choice that many Muslim women are proud to make.
“I love this event because it not only shows how we would represent ourselves but gives others insight as to what it represents and how much it signifies respect and honor that we, as women, have in our culture,” said junior Caitlyn Probst.
She noted that she identifies with a religion other than Islam but still wears a veil or hijab to her church.
Though many women cover their heads, either in Judaism or in churches, Muslim women usually face the stigma.
“It’s good for people to ask questions, not out of ignorance, but out of curiosity,” Abdul-Razik said.
“Just because people wear hijab doesn’t mean that they all have a certain, similar perspective. They all have different personalities, different ideas, and it’s important to know that you need to get to know the person for who they are, not just the scarf.”
Women who approached the table of hijabs to choose from were warmly welcomed and shown different ways to wear a hijab.
Khalisah Hameed summed up their motivation for this event well, “It’s not a forced thing that we have to do,” she said. “It’s a decision that we’re proud to make.”
Islam sees hijab as an obligatory code of dress, not a religious symbol displaying one’s affiliations.
The event copies the idea of the World Hijab Day hosted every year on February 1.
The event 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.”
Officially declared in 1980 by Jimmy Carter, March was designated as Women’s Herstory month in response to the success of grassroots events held all over the country in honor of International Women’s Day on March 8th.
This month is a time to celebrate the accomplishments, contributions, and victories of a long legacy of powerful women.