February 1st is World Hijab Day, and I want to encourage everyone to participate, especially any non-Muslims!
There are a number of reasons I think this is beneficial on a societal level:
- It’s healthy for people to get out of their comfort zone from time to time. Take a day to learn what it’s like to walk in someone else’s shoes.
- Many find it is liberating to to not have others view them in a sexual way. Even the most common clothing in our society can accentuate the female figure, sometimes causing men to pay more attention to our bodies than the words we are using.
- Afraid you’ll get a negative response? Learn what it’s like to have others treat you with their preconceived notions.
The single hardest part of wearing hijab for me over the past 5 years has been overcoming others’ existing opinions of who I am and what my life is like. The idea that I must hate Jews, or America in general, or my husband forces me to wear the hijab, is frustrating to battle each day. I see memes online that perpetuate the idea that Muslims are any one of these things. I don’t think people posting these types of memes think they are making life harder on anyone, but ask any Muslim how they feel in rural America – continuing these ideas that Muslims are inherently bad, or that the Qur’an teaches violence makes trips through rural America just a little bit harder on us.
Take a day to see what it’s like to be a foreigner in your own country, or what it’s like to draw the attention to your words because the rest of your body isn’t available to look at. It’s both invigorating, and eye opening.