New Zealand to Broadcast Muslim Call to Prayer Friday as #HeadScarfforHarmony Campaign Urges Non-Muslim Women to Wear Hijab

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced New Zealand will broadcast the Muslim call to prayer across the nation on TV and radio Friday. That same day New Zealand women are being encouraged to wear the Islamic head covering on Friday in sympathy with Muslims in the wake of the mass shooting terror attack by white eco-nationalist Brenton Tarrant at two Christchurch mosques last Friday that killed 50 and wounded dozens.

The campaign to wear the hijab on Friday is calling it a headscarf and bears the name and hashtag #headscarfforharmony.

The idea was born out of reports Muslim women in New Zealand were expressing fear of wearing the hijab in public, reported the New Zealand news site Stuff:

 

…The idea came from Thaya Ashman, a Mt Eden GP, who has a long-standing affinity with Muslim communities since her time volunteering as a doctor in Afghanistan.

“I heard the story of a frightened woman hiding at home, too scared to go out onto the street as she felt her headscarf identified her as a target for terrorism. I wanted to say ‘we are with you, we want you to feel at home on your own streets, we love, support and respect you’.”

Representatives of the Muslim community have endorsed the idea and are deeply touched.

…Kiwis are encouraged to get together with friends and workmates, takes photos at work, school or play, and share it on social media with the hashtag #headscarfforharmony.

One News Now reported several similar hijab campaigns are planned for Friday in New Zealand.

A number of events have been planned by separate groups.

The Islamic Women’s Council have told the organiser of the Scarves in Solidarity event, Raewyn Rasch, that it is an “amazing idea”.

Ms Rasch said the event is open to everyone in New Zealand and is a “symbolic gesture”.

Headscarf for Harmony is another event planned for Friday, inviting Kiwis to wear a headscarf or head covering at “work, school or play”.

Another event, called Wear a Headscarf Friday, is aimed at women in the Christchurch region and had been supported by the New Zealand Muslim Association. Thousands have expressed interest in the events on Facebook.

The Headscarf for Harmony campaign is receiving criticism from Muslim women opposed to the hijab.

Iranian women have been imprisoned for protesting the hijab, among them a lawyer,  Nasrin Sotoudeh, who defended woman opposed to the hijab.

 

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