MO: NON-MUSLIMS WEAR SCARVES IN SOLIDARITY
Danielle Campbell, her electric blue hair peeking out from under the scarf wrapped around her head, was happy not to get noticed as much for one day.
“I usually have these punk boys who hang out where I work and every time I walk by they have something to say,” said Campbell, a senior at MU who works at Brady Food Court. “But today I just walked on by. It was nice.”
Scarves for Solidarity, an event organized by the women of the Muslim Student Organization at MU, took place Thursday on MU campus. The event encourages non-Muslim women to cover their hair for a day to show solidarity with Muslim women and to learn a little about life as an American Muslim. A discussion to reflect on the women’s experiences took place Thursday night at Memorial Union.
Hiba Jaafari, a sophomore, led the event’s organization after she heard about its success at other campuses. Similar events have been organized across the country, including one called “Wear a Hijab/Turban Day” in Fremont, Calif., organized in response to the 2006 killing of an Afghan woman in the community.
The first Scarves for Solidarity event was organized in 2001 in Washington, following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
“We figured, thank God we don’t have to worry about that as much here, six years later,” Farah Naz, an MU student, said. “We just wanted to bring it to the MU campus.”
The women who tried the scarf for a day said they did not encounter negative reactions. But hate crimes against Muslims spiked in 2001 after Sept. 11, according to the FBI’s National Uniform Crime Reporting Program. Hate crimes against Muslims were less common in 2005, but they are still higher than before Sept. 11.
Hend El-Buri, a sophomore, led the discussion and explained the benefits of wearing a hijab. The conversation moved from religion to makeup. El-Buri said that makeup is a woman’s personal choice, just like the hijab itself.
The experience of wearing her blue scarf made Danielle Koonce, a senior, feel a little more self-conscious. “When I see a woman wearing the scarf, I look because I am admiring her,” Koonce said. “So I just tried to keep that in mind.”