Schoolgirls Asked to Don Islamic Headscarf For ‘Hijab Day’ in November

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Non-Muslim schoolgirls in Lincolnshire, England, are being asked to don the Islamic hijab headscarf for a day in November.

Ghada Mohamed of the Lincoln Muslim Sisters Forum is organising the event, which she hopes will be taken up by high schools all around the country, to increase non-Muslim girls “knowledge” of the religious garments and decrease alleged incidents of abuse against hijabi girls.

The BBC reported that one Muslim girl told them that “the hijab was part of her identity, but wearing it sometimes made her feel like she was not part of the community”, and that she supported Mrs Mohamamed’s initiative.

The idea that Muslim girls might try not wearing the hijab to feel more like “part of the community” was not raised in the BBC report, although it was broached on social media by talkRadio host Julia Hartley-Brewer.

“‘Lincolnshire non-Muslim girls asked to wear hijab for a day’ — or how about the Muslim girls try NOT wearing a hijab for a day and see how nice life is in a free society where women are equal with men and don’t need to cover themselves to get respect?” she tweeted.

Islamic headscarves have previously been promoted by the British government itself, with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office organising a walk-in event for World Hijab Day — which already exists, separately from Mrs Mohamed’s planned day — for staff in 2018, providing them with free headscarves and inviting them to wear them.

“Would you like to try on a Hijab or learn why Muslim women wear the headscarf? Come along to our walk-in event. Free scarfs [sic] for all those that choose to wear it for the day or part of the day,” read an internal email promoting the event.

“Muslim women, along with followers of many other religions, choose to wear the Hijab. Many find liberation, respect and security through wearing it. #StrongInHijab”

Women have less choice in the matter in many Muslim-majority countries, such as the Islamic Republic of Iran, where three women were recently sentenced to 16 years’ imprisonment each by the Islamic Revolutionary Court for “disrespecting compulsory hijab”.

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