State Senate Passes Resolution to Observe World Hijab Day February 1 in Michigan » WDET 101.9FM

Nargis Rahman

Nazma Khan says she started World Hijab Day and the nonprofit to educate people about the hijab, a headscarf worn by Muslim women to express their faith.

On Tuesday, women from 150 countries will celebrate and observe the 10and year of World Hijab Day which is held on February 1 every year. The Michigan Senate passed a resolution on Friday to recognize the day across the state, home to about 300,000 Muslims.

State Senator Stephanie Chang introduced the resolution to the House. She worked with APIA Vote-MI Executive Director Rebeka Islam and community members.

State Senator Stephanie Chang introduced a resolution to recognize February 1 as World Hijab Day in Michigan. She worked with APIA Vote-MI Executive Director Rebeka Islam and community members.

World Hijab Day is a day of solidarity, Chang said in a statement.

“It is a day to recognize the millions of Muslim women around the world who choose to wear the hijab and live a life of modesty. It is also an open invitation to women from all walks of life to wear a hijab and be stand in solidarity with Muslim women,” Chang said.

Founder and CEO of the World Hijab Day organization Nazma Khan said she created World Hijab Day and the non-profit organization to educate people about the hijab, a headscarf worn by Muslim women to express their faith.

“I founded World Hijab Day in 2013 after personally being discriminated against for my headwear, also known as the hijab. I wanted to raise awareness and normalize the hijab by inviting women from all walks of life to walk in my shoes for a day,” says Khan.

The day was recognized by New York State in 2017 by the State Senate. Muslim women often use this day to tell people about when they started wearing the hijab or about the difficulties of wearing the hijab.

This year’s theme is #DressedNotOppressed.

“We talk about women’s empowerment, yet I’m closed off when people see me in my choice of hijab. You know, and people have to realize that when we label Muslim women as oppressed, their power as that women is taken away from them and that for me is an oppression,” says Khan.

We talk about women’s empowerment, yet I’m closed off when people see me in my choice of hijab. You know, and people need to realize that when we label Muslim women as oppressed, their power as women is taken away from them and that to me is oppression. —Nazma Khan, World Hijab Day Organization

Khan says women’s bodies and hijabs are scrutinized around the world, including in Europe where the French parliament recently proposed banning the hijab at sporting events.

She wants people to know that many Muslim women have chosen to wear the hijab, as a symbol of faith as a spiritual and physical connection to God.

“It’s a choice I made and I’m very happy with it. I am very responsible for my decision. When I put on my hijab, I want people to know that it’s a constant reminder, to be a better person, to be kind to others, and to be a better member of society. I am an ambassador of Islam. And when I put on this job and it’s a huge responsibility to represent my beautiful faith properly, and I feel truly honored to have been given this privilege.

Scarves and head coverings are worn by people all over the world, from Sikh men who wear turbans to Catholic nuns. Khan says World Hijab Day is a day to come together to build bridges of understanding.

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  • Nargis Hakim Rahman is the civic reporter at 101.9 WDET. Rahman is a graduate of Wayne State University, where she was part of the Journalism Institute of Media Diversity.

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