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Stetson Hijab Day: modesty, freedom, self-control

hijab dayOn Wednesday, Feb. 5, the Muslim Student Association held their first Stetson’s Hijab Day. This event invited both Muslim and non-Muslim to try on the traditional headscarf millions of Muslim women wear around the world. (Pictured, right, Salma Belakbir, standing, is helping Charlotte Grace with her Hijab.)

The Hijab is, of course, a very controversial topic that deals with whether or not Hijab is oppressive towards its owner. We can point out Christians and Jews, among many others, also wear a similar head covering, but there’s no better way to relay our message of modesty, freedom and self-control than to let other women decide for themselves. An event which began, two years ago, in Facebook, has now gone on to include more than 100 countries and millions of women behind the cause.

Our date for this event was later than the original “World Hijab Day,” so I decided to call it “Stetson’s Hijab Day,” in hopes to create a timeless Stetson tradition where we put ourselves in someone else’s shoes, or scarf, and come to our own decision about them. I was very determined, even when I received discouragement and obstacles about the possibility of such an event, to make this happen.

Hijab day groupYou see, I’ve worn my Hijab for almost three years now, and so I’ve been able to see life through two different points of views. I really hoped to give any woman who wanted a chance to see those two forms of living.

“It definitely was exactly the kind of experience I hoped for – eye-opening… Thank you guys so much for doing this!” Nicole R. shared on our Facebook page. Also, Tiffaney L. shared a status that became a favorite among our group: “First realizations upon wearing my hijab: It’s hot. I should really redo my makeup. This would come in handy for bad hair days. I feel a little weird now knowing the cultural stigma attached to the hijab.”

She really summarized the feeling of all the participants, who might have lacked for words to express how this event affected them. Soon, we will rejoin with the staffs and students who participated, and look more in depth on what Hijab means, and why Hijab Day was established. (The Muslims Student Association, part of the Multicultural Student Council, is pictured, left.)

by Salma Belakbir