MSO Hijab Day raises cultural awareness

Photo courtesy of the Muslim Student Organization
President Bob Davies and a student pose during last week’s celebration of cultures.Photo courtesy of the Muslim Student Organization President Bob Davies and a student pose during last week’s celebration of cultures.

Story by Da’sha TuckStaff writer

Photo courtesy of the Muslim Student Organization President Bob Davies and a student pose during last week’s celebration of cultures.

Photo courtesy of the Muslim Student Organization
President Bob Davies and a student pose during last week’s celebration of cultures.

Muslim and non-Muslim students were invited to experience the Islamic culture Sept. 17 at the Muslim Student Organization’s, or MSO, Hijab Day.

Humaira Khan, member of MSO from Pakistan, greeted all those who stopped by their table. She explained what it meant to her to be able to wear her hijab. She helped students put on the abaya, a full-length dress worn by some Muslim women and then helped them put on a hijab.

“It is my own choice – my personal decision,” Khan said. “I believe in physically showing my religion.”

She said she does not understand the misconception that Muslim women are forced to wear hijabs. Khan said she wishes to educate her peers about why she wears her hijab and what it means to her.

Khan said some women of her faith choose to wear hijabs and some do not. A woman can chose not to wear a hijab and no one may say anything because it is her personal decision.

“Like many non-Muslims, I have heard many rumors about why the women cover their faces,” said Khariah Payne, junior from Evansville, Indiana. “After speaking with the women I realized the empowerment that comes with wearing the hijab.”

However, pictures of vandalized event fliers in Faculty Hall with several racist comments began circulating social media.

MSO President Amer Bukhari, graduate student from Saudi Arabia, said the vandalism was cowardly. He said if they were right in front of him he would educate them on his faith.

“My mother wears hijab, my grandmother wears hijab and my sister wears hijab,” Buknari said. “People say wearing a hijab is like being a slave but that is not true in my family.”

Bukhari said the University respects MSO’s ideas and Murray State feels like a home to him. The Hijab day turnout reassured Buknar that MSO reached its goal to educate.

“The more I am covered the closer I am to my God,” Khan said. “Some women cover just their heads and some cover entire face other than their eyes. It is their choice.”