People of faith have long adopted ways of dress to express their adherence to that faith whether Orthodox Jews, Hare Krishna, Sikh, Amish, or Mormon missionaries who seek to outwardly proclaim the values of their belief system, and the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution has long protected their right to do so.

Until now, however, playing “dress up” had never been equated with developing a deep understanding with a religion’s philosophy and belief system under the guise of furthering diversity and inclusion, but that is about to change with the observation of “World Hijab Day.”

As part of the observation of the third observance of the day, non-Muslim girls are being encouraged to wear the Muslim garb at World of Inquiry School No. 58 in Rochester, New York as part of what the school principal Sheela Webster said was “well within the protocol of experiential learning” at the core of the school’s mission.

The decision was made without input from parents or teachers, after a Muslim student at the school, Eman Muthana wrote a single-page letter to Webster saying “World Hijab Day invites every woman to wear the hijab for a day so they would experience how women who wear the hijab are treated by others.”

Hijabs are the head coverings worn by Muslim women and girls as young as six years of age, ostensibly as both an outward sign of the faith and out of a sense of modesty.

The meaning of the hijab, however, is disputed even among Muslims, some of whom said it is a symbol of the oppression of women by Islamic fundamentalists

Two women co-authored a piece in the Washington Post claiming that the “World Hijab Day” campaign is nothing more than Islam’s “political agenda.”

“Journalists and media outlets must stop making the mistake of defining hijab as ‘headscarf,’ furthering a sexist propaganda campaign to equate the two,” wrote Asra Q. Nomani and Hala Arafa.

“Please do this instead: Do not wear a headscarf in “solidarity” with the ideology that most silences us, equating our bodies with “honor.” Stand with us instead with moral courage against the ideology of Islamism.”


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