Hijab Day at Halifax library aims to address misconceptions

Members of Halifax's Muslim community are confronting misconceptions about their faith by holding an information session about the hijab this weekend.

HALIFAX — Members of Halifax’s Muslim community are confronting misconceptions about their faith by holding an information session about the hijab this weekend.

Anyone who stops by the Halifax Central Library for “Hijab Day” on Saturday will be invited to try one on.

Dr. Abdelkader Tayebi, imam for the Ummah Mosque in Halifax, says he hopes the first-person experience will help people better understand those who wear the hijab, which covers the head and neck but not the face.

“It’s no longer something that is related to a minority or a couple people, so it has surfaced as a matter of concern to Canadians,” he said. “It’s being seen as something imported from outside, from the Middle East, whereas it is now a Canadian thing.”

Tayebi says there are many mistaken ideas surrounding the hijab, including the notion that men are forcing women to wear them.

One event organizer hopes the simple act of trying on the hijab will help to forge a path to a larger understanding of Islam that could dispel anti-immigrant sentiment, focused on Muslims, that have been fanned by the recent attacks in Paris and Beirut.

“We figured that it would be a good time for Canadians everywhere, from different backgrounds, to come together and acknowledge our differences,” said Maram Saidi.

In the wake of the attacks in Paris, mosques in Canada have been vandalized and torched, and a Muslim woman was attacked and beaten Monday in Toronto while picking up her children from school. On Wednesday, Montreal police announced the arrest of a man following the release of a YouTube video in which someone says one Arab would be murdered in Quebec every week.

Tayebi said his wife has been yelled at to “go home,” and Saturday’s event will include some female students who have stopped wearing the hijab entirely, fed up with repeated questioning and teasing.

“I think it’s hard for some people just because of racist comments,” says Saidi. “Through this event, we’re trying to get rid of the racism and show that we’re all human.”

Jennifer Watts, a city councillor, says the event is a good chance for people from the community to engage in a healthy discussion.

“It’s a great way for non-Muslims to have a chance to meet and engage with people that are in their community and in their neighbourhood and have a really interesting conversation.”

The event takes place at the Halifax Central Library from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday.

For more information, visit “Hijab Day Halifax” on Facebook.

Just Posted

Despite warnings, plenty of temptations to thieves left in vehicles

Lock It or Lose It campaign still finding plenty of valuables left in plain sight

WATCH: Notley invites central Albertans to “team up” with New Democrats for equitable, prosperous future

NDP leader lashes out against her rival, Jason Kenney, calling him a cheater

Red Deer sees highest rate of fentanyl deaths

47 fentanyl-related deaths in 2018

Why Solar: Canada needs to get its collective house in order

Canada needs to get a grip. The country has one of the… Continue reading

Gardening: Take care when making plant purchases

After a cold February, the longer sunny days and warmer weather triggers… Continue reading

Canadian pair fifth after short program at figure skating worlds

SAITAMA, Japan — Canada’s Kirsten Moore-Towers and Michael Marinaro are fifth after… Continue reading

Director Kim Nguyen tackles financial ‘madness’ in ‘The Hummingbird Project’

TORONTO — As Quebec filmmaker Kim Nguyen tells it, “The Hummingbird Project”… Continue reading

What Disney gets as its $71.3B buy of Fox assets closes

It’s finally complete. Disney closed its $71 billion acquisition of Fox’s entertainment… Continue reading

Opinion: Let’s be heard ‘loud and clear’ during provincial election campaign

By David Marsden During the banquet for Sunday’s Boston Bruins alumni game,… Continue reading

Documentary on Colten Boushie case to open Toronto’s Hot Docs festival

TORONTO — A film examining the case of a young Indigenous man… Continue reading

Most Read