THE WORLD HIJAB DAY (WHD) MOVEMENT
(Lagos, 29/01/2015) Muslim Public Affairs Centre (MPAC) is collaborating with a number of other Muslim organisations to promote the ideals and mission of the WHD movement in Nigeria. According to the founder of the initiative, Nazma Khan, the movement's “mission is to have 10 Million participants on February 1st, 2015 worldwide, Insha'Allah!” Nazma Khan is a New York resident social activist from Bangladesh who immigrated to America at the tender age of eleven where she found herself being the only hijabi in middle school. She remembers her experience as a difficult one. On this day, we will ask non-Muslim and non-Hijabi Muslim women in Nigeria to observe Hijab for a day. It will be a day for everyone willing to experience what it is like to step inside the shoes of a Hijabi.
February 1st, 2013 marked the first annual World Hijab Day in recognition of millions of Muslim women who choose to wear the hijab and live a life of modesty. More than ever, observant hijabis need to encourage better and more education on hijab to others through practical actions and positive engagement. In its endorsement of the initiative last year, the Executive Chairman of MPAC, Disu Kamor, remarked that the event” is indeed a great idea to empower, enlighten and break down barriers. 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. The organizers have succeeded in placing the hijab into its rightful place in both the public discourse and public consciousness.” The Nigerian WHD activities will mark the significance and free choice of the Nigerian Muslim women who wear the hijab, the joy they feel doing it and their courage dealing with the difficulties and naked discrimination they face. 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.
The movement has been endorsed by figures of authority including Dr. Amina Namadi Sambo (Wife, Vice President of Nigeria), and well known Islamic scholars. This year, more than 10 Nigerian Islamic organisations will organize individual or joint activities to share the ideals of this growing movement.
·The hijab is a dress code prescribed as part of Islam's teaching in at least two verses of the Qur'an: Surah An-Nur, 30 and Surah Al-Ahzab, verse 59. For more understanding on the nature and position of hijab in Islam, visit www.mpac-ng.org.