Je hebt dames die houden van roze, je hebt dames die houden van hoofddoeken… en je hebt dames die houden van roze hoofddoeken. Wat als een simpel ideetje begon in Amerika is inmiddels uitgegroeid tot een actie waar duizenden moslims wereldwijd aan deelnemen: Pink Hijab Day. Hiermee willen de initiatiefnemers geld inzamelen voor onderzoek naar borstkanker, moslims stimuleren zich in te zetten voor hun samenleving en het toegankelijker maken om met vragen af te stappen op een moslima met hoofddoek (hijab). Dit jaar valt het op 27 oktober 2010.
Wij stelden wat vragen aan een van de initiatiefnemers van Pink Hijab Day in Amerika, Hend El-Buri.
Umar (Wijblijvenhier.nl): Pink Hijab Day. What’s that about?
Hend El-Buri (Pink Hjiab Day): Pink Hijab Day is a day meant to raise funds for breast cancer research while encouraging Muslim men and women to be active in their communities. It is also a day that encourages the curious to inquire about the Hijab. I am hopeful that the event will encourage Muslims to be active outside of the typical “Muslim” causes (i.e. Iraq, Palestine, etc) and be a part of the global movement to improve their local communities and ultimately, the world.
WBH: Why pink? In the Netherlands pink is already claimed by another group who has its yearly parades in Amsterdam…
PHD: When Pink Hijab Day first began, a few friends and I were actually going on a trip to a place that doesn’t have many Muslims. We thought that pink hijabs would make us look more approachable, so we decided to wear them that day. I realized that we could turn this into something meaningful and took off with it. I don’t think a group can really “claim” a color to be their own, but I live in the US where pink is used in October for breast cancer. It’s not necessarily the color so much as the causes we support.
WBH: How did you come up with the idea of this day?
PHD: It was kind of an accident, but when I put it on facebook it just grew beyond what I had imagined. I am pleased with the response, but I hope that people keep the cause in mind and remember that this isn’t meant to be a fashion show or a “who can i one-up with my pink” event, but a fundraiser and a way to be active.
WBH: What was the response so far?
PHD: Alhamdulillah, it has been wonderful. I’ve gotten hundreds of emails in support of the event. Many women saying that they or a family member had breast cancer. Of course, I have had some negative responses as well. Some people have emailed saying that I am encouraging women to be immodest by wearing pink. My response is that women don’t have to wear a bright neon pink hijab. They don’t even have to wear a pink hijab, they can wear a pink ribbon. In fact, on the website I wrote that women can simply donate to a cancer foundation and not wear ANY pink. I don’t want anyone to do anything that is outside of their bounds of modesty. Again, I also don’t want the event to be a fashion show. I encourage Muslims to find a moderate way to express their solidarity with those suffering from cancer. I believe that this type of activism is an obligation on Muslims, in an effort to improve our world.
WBH: That sounds like a noble cause. What’s next? Bungee jumping with Hijab?
PHD: I don’t really know what’s next. I am hoping that people of other faiths will be encouraged to ask about hijab and Muslim women, and recognize the meaning of the hijab. I am living in New Jersey, an area very close to New York. Right now the tension here is high and Muslims are walking on eggshells. I hope that each year we can make a bigger difference in the world, and it will be recognized that Muslims are here to make America or Australia, or the UK, or the Netherlands or WHEREVER a better place. I know this sounds cheesy, but these small steps are the only way to make a change.