World Hijab Day event held at WIT to promote inclusion and break barriers

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Women came together to celebrate World Hijab Day at WIT, to experience wearing the hijab and understanding the Muslim culture

Women came together to celebrate World Hijab Day at WIT, to experience wearing the hijab and understanding the Muslim culture

Religious Studies and Theology group at WIT hosted World Hijab Day to assist the promotion of inclusion at WIT between Muslim and non-Muslim people

The Religious Studies and Theology group at WIT hosted an event for World Hijab Day 2017 at WIT’s main campus Wednesday 1 February 2017.

Inclusion

The event, which was the only registered event that took place in Ireland to mark World Hijab Day this year, aimed to promote inclusion and to break barriers between the Muslim and non-Muslim community in WIT.

On display were an assortment of hijabs which students were allowed try on with the assistance of Muslim women, who spoke to the students about their religion and culture.

Talks began at 11am, where Muslim feminist and academic Rachel Woodlock, local Muslim and convert Brigid Aylward and Muslim businesswoman Bara Alich spoke about their own experiences and what it means to be Muslim.

Confidence

Brigid Aylward from Mullinavat, converted to Islam from Catholicism eight years ago but only chose to wear the hijab two years ago. Brigid works as a nurse in the Paediatric Department in Waterford Regional Hospital and was awarded a Master’s Degree in Nursing from WIT in 2016. While some students tried on the hijab, Brigid chatted to a group of students about what it means to her to be Muslim. She covered all topics and answered questions about her religion and culture. “I wear relatively loose clothes to be modest, but it gives me confidence. When I’m speaking to people I know they are listening to what I am saying. They are not looking at my hair or my clothes, they are paying attention to me.”

Fighting discrimination

Lecturer in World Religion Studies at WIT Colette Colfer organised the event and said, “There is an increasing tide of Islamophobia in the western world and this can often result in isolation, discrimination and prejudice against Muslims (and particularly Muslim women). This day is a global event to show solidarity with Muslim women. To date this is the only event scheduled in Ireland for World Hijab Day this year.”


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