"National Pink Hijab Day"
Muslim women all across North America will be donning pink headscarves this Friday.
October 26 marks the third annual "National Pink Hijab Day", created as an awareness campaign to show that Muslim women are committed to finding a cure for breast cancer. Pink is the national color for breast cancer awareness and Muslim women in the United States and Canada hope to show their collective support for cancer research and to reach out to the mainstream community.
"It started as a simple statement to show Americans that Muslim women are socially active within their communities and are a part of the American fabric," says 20-year-old Hend El Buri, founder of National Pink Hijab Day.
It was while attending Rockbridge High School in Columbia, Missouri that El Buri and her Muslim friends decided to wear pink hijabs in support of cancer research.
"People would come up to us and ask 'Why are you all wearing pink today? Is it a part of your religious practice?'" says El Buri. "We told them that we wanted to dispel stereotypes that we had been forced to wear the hijab, and that we supported a cause that affects everyone, regardless of race or religion."
Today, Muslim Student Associations all across the continent are participating in the event and will be supporting National Pink Hijab Day with posters saying, "Do you have a question about my pink headscarf? Ask me on October 26th, 2007." Women are encouraged to go out in large groups in hopes to encourage questions about their matching headscarves.
"I am going out to dinner with a group of seven or eight Hijabi girlfriends on Friday," says Sumaya Abdul-Quadir, a resident of Los Angeles, California. "I participated last year also, and it spurred a lot of great questions about Islam and it's positive treatment of women, so we are hoping to get similar results this year."
Muslim support for breast cancer research is not unprecedented. Teams like the Phoenix, Arizona based "Muslim Women Race for a Cure" have joined the Susan G. Komen Foundation's annual 'Race for a Cure' marathon. El Buri registered her group, "National Pink Hijab Day" with the Komen Foundation this year, and the group has raised over $900 in donations.
National Pink Hijab Day gained its momentum with the help of the online social networking website, Facebook.com. The group has grown to over 7,500 current members from the United States, Canada, and Australia.
"I didn't expect it to grow so big," exclaims El Buri. "My intention was to just lend a helping hand to the cause against breast cancer."
October is breast cancer awareness month in the United States.
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