World Hijab Day

Cotton, linen, wool, and silk.

Some may think these are just simple fabric.

My armor is crafted by these simple fabrics. This armor that I wrap around my head and soul, is my hijab. Growing up in a country where the hijab is advertised as a negative symbol, the media’s impact on my choice of self-expression doesn’t weigh down an atom of my faith. I choose to rebel against the stereotype that all Muslims are terrorist, by being a hijabi I’m representing many Muslim women around the world. Alhamdulillah every year 140 countries celebrate World Hijab Day on February 1st--an entire day dedicated to hijab!

The purpose of this annual event is to inspire women of various backgrounds and religions to experience the hijab. This year, I spent the day roaming downtown Milwaukee capturing photos with hijabis and non-hijabis alike. I also taught a few of my classmates how to wrap a hijab. Even though my classmates aren’t Muslim, by wearing hijab they realized that we have more in common than they thought. I had the chance to meet several astounding women who support my choice in wearing hijab. We bonded over the fabrics, styles, and the cultural impact hijab has on women.  

The remainder of my afternoon was spent being greeted by strangers for wearing a “beautiful headcovering.” However, I had a few people give me angry looks for wearing a hijab. Another woman flat out called me a terrorist and told me to go home, not knowing that I’m a Black and Puerto-Rican American. Alhamdulillah, I wasn’t frightened by their comments since I understood where their negativity was coming from. World Hijab Day is definitely a necessity in today’s society. If the media continues to portray hijabis as bloodthirsty terrorists, it’s our duty as women to ban together to defeat this stereotype.