Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world.  Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.  --Margaret Mead


Please wear a scarf
on the 8th!

Dear Sisters in Faith,

The purpose of the Scarves for Solidarity Campaign is simply to show our support of our Muslim sisters, and to foster discussion with the people you come into contact with during your everyday lives, who obviously know that you are not Muslim....it is not meant to be a political symbol in any way, just a symbol of love.

It's simple to do.  Women, regardless of their faith, across the United States will wear a scarf or hat covering their hair on October 8, 2001.  Women everywhere will show their solidarity by searing the hijab.

To protect Muslim women who have been afraid to leave their houses because of ignorant hatred, we will dress piously.  The hijab (scarf) is worn outwardly to show the inner hijab of  compassion, honesty and love, which is carried in the hearts and souls of  Islamic men  and women alike.  Make flyers, call your politicians, or simply cover your hair for a day.  It's simple.  Show the world we are truly ONE NATION!

Although there is a National Scarves for Solidarity Day planned for October 8th, the true beauty of this effort is that it is a woman's personal choice as to the level of her participation, some women are wearing scarves every day until the end of October, some are just wearing it on October 8th, some are wearing it one day a week for an couple of months. I would like to request that anyone who participates keeps a journal describing their thoughts, feelings, experiences.

The journal can be sent to interfaithpeace@yahoo.com.  I hope to have the website http://www.interfaithpeace.org online by the end of this week. I am also putting together some of the responses of thanks I have received from the Muslim Community, they are so touching and poignant, especially for such a small, small thing. If you would like, I will send it to you as well.  I will warn you to expect controversy, much of it stemming from misunderstanding, and also concern over offending the Muslim community, I would like to say that I have yet to receive one negative response from a Muslim and Muslim women who do not wear scarves are equally as thankful as those who do. I would also like to ask you to please be careful if you do choose to participate, while I have not encountered any harassment while wearing the scarf, the possibility is real and present. 

Some background on Hijab:
A hijab is a symbol of modesty, traditionally Muslim women will also cover their legs and arms, I.e. pants and long sleeves, modest neckline.  It is ok for some hair to show, around the face, etc.  Basically a hijab is just a scarf or length of cloth, big enough to cover the majority of your hair.  The size of the one that I use is approximately 2 feet by 6 feet, which is plenty big, I use safety pins to secure it, behind my head and then wrap the ends around the front and over my shoulder, like you would a scarf.  I then secure the ends to my shoulder to help keep it in place.  I don't feel its really necessary to completely copy the way a Muslim woman will wear it, although I feel very beautiful when I do, it has a wonderful flowing quality that is very feminine. I am collecting journals from women who participate in the Scarves for Solidarity campaign: thoughts, experiences, reactions, etc. I personally find it encourages a lot of introspection and reflection, and a glimpse into what other people experience on a day to day basis.  The point is to foster and open dialogues with people, to possibly get them to recognize if not confront their stereotypes and to realize that Muslim/Arab/Asian does not equal terrorist. I would suggest picking a day, or a week, one lady is wearing a hijab until the end of October, do what you are comfortable with. It is nice if your group does it the same time then you can give each other moral support. I must warn you to be careful and to expect controversy and confrontation, and to react to it with a cool head and calmness, some people will never be able to be reasoned with...most importantly, be as safe as possible. Please let me know what I can do to help, I would also like to know a bit about you, where you are, where you heard about Scarves for Solidarity, etc. Thank you and may God Bless you and keep you safe, Jennifer Schock

Articles:
Donning Scarves in Solidarity - LA Times
HEADLINE: MY BODY IS MY OWN BUSINESS By Naheed Mustafa
Muslim, Asian Women Target of Insults, Harassment

More information:
Significance of the Hijab
Muslim Women's Homepage - Articles about Muslim Women