Sr. Nazma Khan recently spoke at the Rad Talks conference about World Hijab Day, a movement she started:

February 1st, 2013, marked the first annual World Hijab Day in recognition of millions of Muslim women who choose to wear the hijab and live a life of modesty.

This movement was the brainchild of a New York resident, Nazma Khan, who came up with the idea as a means to foster religious tolerance and understanding by inviting women, both non-hijabi Muslims and non-Muslims, to experience hijab for one day.

For many people, the hijab is a symbol of oppression and segregation. By opening up new pathways to understanding, Nazma hopes to counteract some of the controversies surrounding why Muslim women choose to wear the hijab.

Nazma knows exactly what she's talking about. The social activist came to this country from Bangladesh at the tender age of 11 where she found herself being the only hijabi in middle school. She remembers her experience as a difficult one.

“Growing up in the Bronx, in New York City, I experienced a great deal of discrimination due to my hijab,” she reflects. “In middle school, I was 'Batman' or 'ninja'. When I entered University after 9/11, I was called 'Osama bin Laden' or 'Terrorist'. It was awful. I figured the only way to end discrimination is if we ask our fellow sisters to experience hijab themselves.”

The whole movement was organized solely through social networking sites. It has attracted interest from Muslims and non-Muslims in more than 67 countries worldwide. Their literature has been translated in 23 languages.

Jess Rhodes, a former pagan from the UK, was one of the thousands of participants who chose to wear hijab in response to World Hijab Day. A few days later, she decided to explore the Qur'an in order to fully understand Islam. It was through reading the Qur'an that she found a sense of peace and chose to convert to Islam.

For this year, Nazma Khan's goal is to have 1 million participants worldwide and she is asking for everyone's support. For more information, visit: World Hijab Day.

Rad Talks is a conference for sharing bright ideas about Islam & Muslims. More videos from the conference can be found at Rad Talks and you can connect with them on YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter.

7 Responses

  1. Umm Asmaa

    With politicians insisting on banning the veil as a means of “protecting” the freedoms of Muslims women, I hope this gets the publicity it deserves!

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  2. Abubakar Muhammad Metcho

    Masha Allah Nazman.
    May Allah SWT reward you for this good work you have pioneered.

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  3. World Hijab Day: DoA | Indigo Jo Blogs

    […] Earlier this week, there was a so-called Day of Acceptance (of Disability), organised by a company called 3E Love, which markets a variety of merchandise, like T-shirts, stickers etc, bearing their logo of a wheelchair with a heart-shaped ‘wheel’. Some disabled people objected that the event was a marketing scheme for that company’s products, that they had already accepted their disability and wanted other people to accept them and their disabilities seven days a week rather than one day a year. Saturday week (1st Feb) is meant to be World Hijab Day, “an open invitation to Muslims & non-Muslims to wear Hijab for a day”, which has been leapt on by various media outlets including BBC London. Much as with the occasional bit of disability tourism, however, hijab tourism (or niqab tourism) doesn’t really give an accurate impression of the full-time experience. (The event has a website and a Facebook page. More: Muslim Matters.) […]

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  4. ali coleman

    Excellent idea! Much success in gaining wider and deeper support and participation.

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  5. yzhamada

    Let’s remind all our Christian and Jewish friends that Mary the mother of Jesus and the most pure female known to mankind (as the Quran describes her) that she wore the head scarf. Also, all modest females of the non-monotheistic religions have no problems seeing the modesty and the beauty of wearing a modest headwear.
    Memphis, TN, USA.

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