"Because I'm not very skilled I'm wearing what you could call a one-piece hijab - you just pull it over your head. But I've discovered the scope is endless. There are all sorts of options."
So says Jess Rhodes, 21, a student from Norwich in the UK. She had always wanted to try a headscarf but, as a non-Muslim, didn't think it an option. So, when given the opportunity by a friend to try wearing the scarf, she took it.[..]
Rhodes is one of hundreds of non-Muslims who will be wearing the headscarf as part of the first annual World Hijab Day on 1 February.
Originated by New York woman Nazma Khan, the movement has been organised almost solely over social networking sites. It has attracted interest from Muslims and non-Muslims in more than 50 countries across the world. (BBC)
The idea is a modified "walk a mile in my shoes" concept but it misses several key points. While appealing to women who might find it an occasion to "dress-up" like a muslim woman it fails to make the single most important point about Hijab: that a society which enforces a dress code also *judges* on a dress code. In plain speak, muslim women are mostly forced to wear the Hijab or suffer the consequences... consequences that a day of "dress-up" won't teach.
Islamic nations, ones that mandate that women cover their heads or sometimes their whole bodies, have a horrific record of human rights. Woman are routinely abused, killed, raped, sent off into indentured servitude at prepubescent ages, murdered before birth and denied the simple human dignities of education. It is no surprise then that the Hijab is seen as a mark of slavery, because that is precisely how the majority of Islamic nations treat women.
Tolerance is a funny thing. Here 1st world nations need to "learn" tolerance when they have rights to equality enshrined in their laws, and yet they need to learn tolerance for nations that dictate intolerance.
A day in a headscarf in the middle of winter teaches virtually nothing. Most people are bundled up to their ears anyway. Want to learn something? Try it in June or August. Try it at the beach. Try it at an amusement park. Try it while you go running or during aerobics. The discomfort of women who live and work in hot nations might become more tangible then. Not on February 1st.
Of course keep in mind all those activities listed above are forbidden to women who really do have to wear a Hijab. No driving. No singing. No dancing. No going out without a male family escort. No working. No education. No money. No vote. That's what it means to the vast majority of women who have to wear one, and that's not something you're going to fully realize in a single day in the middle of winter.