February 1, 2017 – St Catharines.
Wrold Hijab Day
The World Hijab Day was marked in St. Catharines with activities aimed at educating the public on hijab.
The event was attended by a cross section of the community.
Some participants had a chance to try the hijab and keep the scarf.
Janet Epp was at the mosque to satisfy her curiosity about visiting the house of prayer. She was at the mosque to show support for the Muslim community in view of the incidents in the United States and in Quebec City.
She stated that multiculturalism was completely positive for Canada.
Janet Epp at the World Hijab Day St. Catharines
“I am so happy to wear it,” she said.
A participant and a citizen of St Catharines who wanted to remain anonymous said she was attending the event in support of the Muslim community who has gone through so much in the past week.
She mentioned the ban on citizens of some Muslim countries from entering the United States by the US government and the tragic situation in Quebec during which 6 Muslim men were killed while praying in a mosque in Quebec City.
“I looked forward to this day because I have never been in a mosque,” she said.
Sister Bilkis of Gamer Foundation, the organizer of the event said she came across the Hijab Day last year. She saw it was going on in the US and she decided to bring it to St. Catharines.
“It was my first time to do it, that was 2016.”
“Amazingly many came and over 200 scarves were given away. People had so many questions and wanted to know how to wear the hijab.”
“We invited them to our mosque and people tried it and took the scarves home,” she noted.
Some attendees wanted to know if the hijab is forced on Muslim women. “You are not forced to wear it,” said Sister Bilkis. She wears hijab for her faith and during prayers.
“I am here to celebrate diversity,” says the Niagara Regional Chair, Alan Caslin.
Canada is a country of immigrants, made up of immigrants. My parents are immigrants. It is a country that celebrates diversity.”