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2015/02/02
Lancashire students and teachers celebrate the Muslim way of life

LANCASHIRE students and teachers celebrated the Muslim way of life when they wore headscarves for a day.

Pleckgate High School marked World Hijab Day yesterday - an international movement designed to promote community cohesion.

 

Shamim Behesht-Women and girls wear the hijab during the World Hijab Day event at Pleckgate High School, Blackburn

 

The movement was set up by New York resident Nazma Khan, who came up with the idea as a means to foster religious tolerance and understanding by inviting both Muslim and non-Muslim women to experience the hijab for one day.

It takes place every year on February 1.

While just under five percent of Britain’s 63 million population are Muslim, there are no official numbers on how many women wear a headscarf or head veil, known as the hijab, but anecdotally the number of women who choose to cover their hair is growing.

Abdul Hamid Qureshi, chairman of the Lancashire Council of Mosques, said: “Muslim women are becoming more conscious of their faith and are adhering to the hijab more and more.

“Now I think it’s increasingly happening. In every household if there are three women, at least one will be wearing it.“I think because of the internet age women are becoming more concious. They want to know who they are, and about their faith.”

Muslim women are required to observe the hijab in front of any man they could theoretically marry.

Mr Qureshi said the Koran tells women to dress modestly, and cover their chest and head.

He said: “People choose. Some people don’t wear it. It’s not a sinful act not to wear it but it’s a Koranic instruction, so you can’t defy it either.”

Muslim and non-Muslim staff and students took part in the day at Pleckgate, organised by RE teacher Shahiesta Raja.

She said: “It went really, really well. Lots of members of staff wore it, Muslim and quite a few non-Muslim girls as well.“It helps them to understand how it must feel for a Muslim woman on a daily basis, and to respect why they wear it, and that they make a choice to wear it.”

Pendle’s prospective parliamentary candidate Azhar Ali said: “World Hijab Day is done across the world, in different countries, and there’s no compulsion in this.

“It gives people a different perspective and I think anything that brings people together is a good thing.”

 

Source: Lancshire Telegraph


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