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#WorldHijabDay Alicia’s experience
“For me, being able to talk to a Muslim woman about the hijab and learn more about it gave me strength and took away any uncertainty I had”
Yesterday marked the annual World Hijab Day; an event created to encourage women of all religions and backgrounds to wear and experience the hijab, and clear any misconceptions of it. This year world Hijab day takes on a new meaning especially for America as it comes in the midst of Trump’s Immigration/Muslim ban. Wearing the hijab now means more than just an experience, it’s an act of resistance. 33 year old Alicia from Winter park, Florida talks about her experience taking part in World Hijab day and what it means in the current climate.
It was at a local protest at the Orlando International Airport on January 20, 2017 that I came to learn about World Hijab day. The protest was an airport rally to support Central Florida Muslims in response to President Trump’s Executive Order regarding immigration bans from certain predominate Muslim countries. The immigration/Muslim ban is just a terrible idea. The intended purpose that President Trump is saying for this ban is to help strengthen America’s borders and to keep the terrorists out, but I believe this ban is doing the exact opposite. By showing the world that we are keeping certain people out of the United States based purely off their religion will only create hate and reasons for people to hate America. No one wants terrorists or bad people coming into their country, but this immigration/Muslim ban is certainly not the way to go about that.
At the very end of the protest one of the lead support women said if we wanted to continue showing our support, World Hijab Day was on February 1st, and we could wear a hijab to support our Muslim sisters. So, I decided that’s what I would do.
After I got home I looked up World Hijab Day to learn more about and how it came to be. I definitely wanted to show my support by wearing a hijab, so the next step was to purchase one. Luckily, we have an Islamic women’s clothing store, Sayyed Scarf, about ten minutes from our house, so it was easy to purchase a hijab from a local store. Samar helped me choose a beautiful red hijab and showed me how to properly wear it. We talked for about five or ten minutes about the history of the hijab, the importance to recognize everyone chooses to practice their faith in different ways, and that it’s important to keep the peace between everyone. She was so sweet and answered any questions I had regarding the hijab.
Wearing the hijab for the day gave me mixed feelings initially. I really wasn’t sure how my co-workers would respond, or how anyone in public would respond, if at all. My co-workers were very supportive and complimented the hijab. Everyone else I encountered during the day while at a work meeting and then out to lunch treated me like normal. I had no negative responses, which is what I was worried about the most.
Being an American in Trump’s America and wearing the hijab for the day was an important thing for me to do. I was at least able to talk with my co-workers about what today represented, and that supporting cultural diversity is a very good thing. Even though I was a little apprehensive to purchase the hijab and then wear it for the day, I didn’t give in to those apprehensions and I think that’s what is important. When people give into their fears or apprehensions, this is when hate starts to be created and it grows and grows. For me, being able to talk to a Muslim woman about the hijab and learn more about it gave me strength and took away any uncertainty I had.
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