The Muslim Student Association at Fresno State hosted a “Hijab Challenge” on Wednesday and Thursday in order to help non-Muslim students experience what it is like to wear a head scarf and be viewed as a Muslim.
“It feels a little bit tighter thanI thought it would be,” Kate Hobbs, 18, told the Fresno Bee. “I don’t know. I’m a white girl in a hijab … I think it will be good for me today,” the Christian woman said. She added, “I’ve heard that wearing the hijab can be pretty liberating because it gives you an opportunity to appear as a woman without needing to show off your body … So I’m interested in that.”
Muslim women reportedly handed out free scarves and wrapped them for non-Muslim students. They also offered caps, kufis, for men.
The challenge reportedly took place in the Free Speech area, across from the Henry Madden Library, on the Fresno State campus at 5241 N. Maple Ave. The Bee noted that the day culminated with a lecture titled “Anti-Muslim, Anti-Arab Discrimination and Civil Rights,” which took place in the school’s Alice Peters Auditorium.
The Hijab Challenge also included taking a photo and posting it on social media with the hashtag #FSHijabChallenge, wearing the headscarf for the rest of the day and reporting back about the experience.
The hashtag did not receive much traction on social media, although one Muslim man thanked those involved for “dressing like Jesus mother’s Mary instead of [Kim] Kardashian.”
— البراء الوهيب (@AAlwuhaib1977) October 6, 2016
A female Fresno State student relayed her experience wearing a hijab over her Instagram profile: “#FSHijabChallenge proved very interesting. I had someone ask me “Why the hell are you wearing that?” And then proceed to tell me how seeing it freaked them out. I had only had it on for about two hours at that point. Definitely a new experience.”
One man wore a Kufi and accompanied his picture with the phrase “Love Trumps Hate” alluding to his dislike for the Republican presidential nominee, Donald Trump.
Trump has suggested a temporary ban on immigrants coming into America from Muslim countries, in light of several terrorist attacks carried out by radical Islamists on American soil.
The most recent attack in California took place in San Bernardino last December, where American-born Syed Rizwan Farook and his Pakistani-born accomplice wife, Tashfeen Malik, opened fire on Farook’s colleagues, killing 14 people.
This past June, Afghani-American terrorist Omar Mateen, 29, went on a shooting rampage at a gay Orlando nightclub, killing 49 innocent people.
And jlast month in New York City’s Chelsea neighborhood, dozens were wounded in a bombing carried out by Afghanistan-born Ahmad Khan Rahami, 28.
The terror carried out by Muslims has also resulted discrimination against them, including against non-Muslims who wear head coverings. The Fresno Bee notes that a Sikh man named Amrik Singh Bal, who was wearing a turban, was beaten and run over shortly after last December’ San Bernardino massacre.
The Fresno Bee notes that Fresno State’s Hijab Challenge has been conducted at other colleges throughout the nation, and that some Fresno State professors even offered students extra credit for participating in the activity.
Follow Adelle Nazarian on Twitter and Periscope @AdelleNaz