Islam sees hijab as an obligatory code of dress, not a religious symbol displaying one’s affiliations. (Photo: Onislam)
Islam sees hijab as an obligatory code of dress, not a religious symbol displaying one’s affiliations. (Photo: Onislam)

Lagos, 11 Rabi’ul Akhir 1436/1 February 2015 (MINA) – As the clock ticks towards the launch of the World Hijab Day event, several Muslim organizations across the world announced plans to mark the event with several activities to raise awareness about the Islamic headscarf.

“At this worldwide event, we will encourage Muslim and Non-Muslim women to wear hijab, and experience life of a Hijabi woman for a day,” Disu Kamor, Executive Chairman of the Muslim Public Affairs Centre (MPAC) Nigeria, told Cajnews Africa on Friday, January 30.

On February 1, millions Muslim and non-Muslim women wearing a traditional Islamic head scarf will march on the streets of 116 countries to mark the third anniversary of World Hijab Day, according to the global event organizers, OnIslam quoted by Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA) as reporting.

In Nigeria the MPAC, along with more than 10 Islamic organizations, will mark the event to highlight the significance of hijab in Islam and promote religious harmony in the West African country.

“Many Nigerian Muslim women will mark the occasion of the World Hijab Day to reflect on the situation that exists for them: the unwarranted hostility and discrimination they and their daughters have to suffer for making the free choice to put a piece of cloth on their heads,” Kamor said.

“The organizers have succeeded in placing the hijab into its rightful place in both the public discourse and public consciousness.”

Several Nigerian women organizations, like the Coalition of Muslim Women in Nigeria, will host similar event as well.

According to Coordinator of the coalition and National Ameera of Women in Dawah, Hajia Maryam Idris Othman, the event aims to encourage Muslim women to defy fears of discrimination and wear hijab.

Muslims make about 40% of the Nigeria’s 140 million population.

Philippines Too

From to Africa to Asia and Europe, millions of Muslims are expected to mark the hijab day.

In Philippines Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), more than 1,000 veiled women will take part in rally that will tour the streets of Marawi city on February 1.

Sittie Jehanne Mutin, RCBW regional chairperson, said they expect women from all sectors to join the celebration and help “draw attention to the need for women to participate in the political and economic development of Bangsamoro,” Manila Bulletin reported.

Organized by The ARMM’s Regional Commission on Bangsamoro Women (RCBW), this year’s event would carry the theme Hijab WALK (Women’s Access to Livelihood ay Karapatan).

With participants form different regions, backgrounds and ethnics, Manila’s event aims to empower Muslim women and underscore their vital role in the society.

The World Hijab Day, held for the third consecutive year, is the brain child of a New York resident, Nazma Khan, who came up with the idea as a means to foster religious tolerance and understanding.

Suggesting the event, Khan wanted to encourage non-Muslim women to don the hijab and experience it before judging Muslim women.

She also saw the event as a best chance to counteract some of the controversies surrounding why Muslim women choose to wear the hijab.

Islam sees hijab as an obligatory code of dress, not a religious symbol displaying one’s affiliations. (T/P011/P3)

Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)