Ottawa Plans Hijab Day

CAIRO – An Ottawa group has invited the city women to don hijab for a day next February 25, as a show of support and respect for Muslims.

“A forum to stand in solidarity with Ottawa’s Muslim women against hatred and Islamophobia,” City for All Women Initiative (CAWI) said in an invitation on its website.

Come and learn from a diversity of our city’s accomplished Muslim women about their lived experiences,” it added.

Planned next February 25, the hijab solidarity day was announced under the title “Better Awareness, Greater Understanding, Peaceful World.”

The organization does not see the hijab as a religious requirement, but believes it’s up to each Muslim woman to decide whether or not to wear the garb.

The event will include “a reception where people can stop by anytime to learn from Muslim women about their experience of wearing a hijab and women from other traditions can experience wearing one.”

Islam sees hijab as an obligatory code of dress, not a religious symbol displaying one’s affiliations.

On February 1, millions of Muslim and non-Muslim women wearing a traditional Islamic head scarf will march on the streets of 116 countries to mark the fourth anniversary of World Hijab Day.

The World Hijab Day is the brain child of a New York resident, Nazma Khan, who came up with the idea as a means to foster religious tolerance and understanding.

Suggesting the event, Khan wanted to encourage non-Muslim women to don the hijab and experience it before judging Muslim women.

She also saw the event as a best chance to counteract some of the controversies surrounding why Muslim women choose to wear the hijab.

The event began in 2013 and has been celebrated every year by the Muslim Student Association, MSA.

Its significance increased amid growing anti-Muslim sentiments in the media, accusing Muslim women of being submissive.