New Yorker Nazma Khan came up with the idea for a Hijab Day, the website says, "as a means to foster religious tolerance and understanding by inviting women (non-Hijabi Muslims/non-Muslims) to experience the hijab for one day."
Outsiders see the hijab as "a symbol of oppression and segregation," organizers say. "By opening up new pathways to understanding, she hopes to counteract some of the controversies surrounding why Muslim women choose to wear the hijab."
Khan came to the U.S. from Bangladesh at age 11 and was the only hijabi in her middle school.
"Growing up in the Bronx ... I experienced a great deal of discrimination due to my hijab," she says on the site. "In middle school, I was 'Batman' or 'ninja'. When I entered the university after 9/11, I was called Osama bin Laden or a terrorist. It was awful. I figured the only way to end discrimination is if we ask our fellow sisters to experience hijab themselves."
Like the personal stories featured on the Mormon Pants Day website, the Muslim Hijab Day site carries accounts from various women — and theirs often involve much more severe mistreatment, shunning and job discrimination.
Khan's goal is to have 1 million participants worldwide.
Will Mormon women don headscarves Feb. 1 — as a sign of solidarity with their Muslim sisters?
Peggy Fletcher Stack