SUNDAY TIMES - Don a head scarf for World Hijab Day‚ encourage activists
196.34.62.59
Sunday Times Fashion By Taschica Pillay, 2017-02-01 17:09:08.0

Don a head scarf for World Hijab Day‚ encourage activists

Looks from Dolce & Gabbana's 2016 Abaya collection.
Image: Instagram/@stefanogabbana

In honour of World Hijab Day on Wednesday‚ non-Muslims around the globe have been encouraged to wear the Islamic headscarf to create awareness around the faith.

Political scientist and academic Lubna Nadvi said it is a day to create awareness around the faith of Islam and that women wear hijab as sign of respect for the faith and to identify them as Muslims.

“It is a day that creates conversation around the garment and creates curiosity amongst others. It was set up almost as a response to the aftermath of 911 when Muslims were being targeted and vilified. It is to counter the negative message. Over the last decade we have seen more women don the headscarf for various reasons.

“It’s also a way of aligning themselves to various justice causes. In the US Muslim women wear it to symbolise their identity‚ similar to other religious groups who wear certain garments or jewellery. Unfortunately the hijab has become a centre of attention quite a bit. It should not become a garment that one has to politicise. It is a symbol of faith‚” said Nadvi.

Nadvi said following US President Donald Trump’s Muslim travel ban‚ there has been an outpouring of support for the Muslim community.

She said the international awareness day was to encourage non-Muslims are encouraged to wear the garment for the day and to familiarise themselves and learn more about the religion.

“It is to build bridges between communities. And for those Muslims who wear hijabs to be ambassadors of the religion and to engage others about why they wear it. The hijab is about modesty. Obviously an industry has emerged around the head scarf. There are various colours and designs done by the fashion industry. But the basic concept is for Muslim women to be dressed modestly.

“Head covering is what women wear when they pray. It is a garment worn for various reasons and it’s also to get people to learn more about the religion and its principles‚” said Nadvi.

Shireen Mansoor‚ who promotes Durban Muslima‚ a platform that creates awareness around Islam‚ said in many countries at the moment there is a taboo and ban on the hijab and there is victimisation.

“We want to create an awareness that wearing the hijab doesn’t mean there is something wrong with us. The hijab is way of life. It is a symbol of our modesty‚” said Mansoor.

Mansoor said the style has evolved into a very modern feel.

We want to create an awareness that wearing the hijab doesn’t mean there is something wrong with us. The hijab is way of life. It is a symbol of our modesty

Abashiya Achilles‚ a designer‚ who runs the Hijab Fashion Week for the last four years‚ said World Hijab Day helped Muslims to share with others how women feel wearing the head scarf.

“I noticed the only runway show was SA Fashion Week and that platform was not conducive for modest wear. Hijab Fashion Week is for ladies only where the models are fully covered‚” said Achilles. - TMG Digital/TimesLIVE