World Hijab Day at a Catholic College

Muslim Student Association members Sophia Singh, Fatoumata Saho, Rabea Ali, and Isatou Kebbeh helped organize a World Hijab Day event at Manhattan College. (Photo by Aaron Mayorga via The Riverdale Press)

On Feb. 1, Rabea Ali brought World Hijab Day to perhaps an unlikely place – Manhattan College, the Roman Catholic school she attends in the Bronx. Nazma Khan, who grew up in the borough, started the annual event in 2013 to promote religious tolerance and encourage non-Muslims and non-Hijabis to wear the hijab for a day.

The Riverdale Press’ Aaron Mayorga reports that on that day, Ali and fellow members of the school’s Muslim Student Association, of which she’s president, set up a table offering scarves and stories to anyone interested.

“This is a campus where the misconceptions about Islam are high despite the fact that the Muslim population is high and growing on campus,” she said.


Ali stressed World Hijab Day represented a unique chance to educate her peers about her religion.

“When people get a chance to put (the hijab) on, they ask questions,” she said. “They hear our stories. This gives them that icebreaker to take that step.”

How did the event go? Did the school offer support? Why do some Muslims disagree with the premise of World Hijab Day? Find out at The Riverdale Press.

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