Upwards of 1 million people worldwide are expected to join in the celebration of women’s right on February 1 as they celebrate World Hijab Day. As well as a celebration, the day is also designated to help improve Hijab awareness, why women choose to wear them, the origin and the meaning.
This year marks the second World Hijab Day, first devised by Nazma Khan of New York. Having grown massively in such a short period of time, Khan’s aim for the celebration is to encourage non-Muslim women to wear a Hijab for a day and document how it makes them feel.
Khan hopes that this will help Muslims and non-Muslims come together and better improve relations between the two groups. Like the old adage ‘don’t judge me until you walk a mile in my shoes’, Khan believes that it will help the two groups understand one another’s stances better.
The day was an immediate success last year with it being recognised all around the World and the attached literature being translated into 22 different languages. People in countries such as the UK, Australia, India, Pakistan, France and Germany have contacted Khan, hoping to help out her cause and be a representative for their culture.
Mufti Ismail Menk is one of the event’s staunchest supporters and he enthuses: “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.
“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.”
This year marks the 10 year anniversary of the Hijab being banned in public in France. It is this kind of misunderstanding of Islamic clothing that Khan hopes her event will help society avoid in the future. Peaceful demonstration and education are the cornerstones of World Hijab Day and Khan believes that they are best approaches to helping people understand the Hijab and its wearers all the better.
Jubbas, the Islamic Clothing suppliers, fully supports the event – director Akil Desai explains: “this is the perfect solution, peacefully demonstrating the benefits and purposes of Hijabs.”
World Hijab Day’s growing Facebook presence contains more information about the event and how you can participate and help involve more people.