The Christian Action Network has launched an aggressive effort to end any public school celebration of World Hijab Day this coming February of 2019.
World Hijab Day (WHD) was launched in 2004 and began to be celebrated in some public schools in 2013. The event was founded by Muslim activist Nazma Khan.
Public schools that participate in the event ask female students to dress up as Muslims during classroom hours by wearing the Islamic hijab. Some schools add male head garments and other Islamic garb for boys to wear.
Organizers of WHD say the celebration serves two purposes:
- To encourage women of all religions to experience the hijab.
- To show that Muslims “rule the world.”
Public schools in Florida, California, Illinois, New York, Missouri and other states have already celebrated the event during the past few years, with each year finding more and more schools participating.
Groups such as CAIR, the Muslim Students Association and even the U.S. Department of Education have either been shown to — or have been accused of — supporting the event in public schools.
Rahaf Othman, a social studies teacher who helped organize a WHD event at Richards High School in Oak Lawn, IL said wearing the hijab is “giving dawah” to students.
Dawah is the “proselytizing or preaching of Islam.”
The U.S. Department of Education (DoED) has off-handedly endorsed World Hijab Day through its website called HOMEROOM, the official blog of the department.
In a post created under the Obama Administration, the blog recommends that teachers show the film Walk a Mile in Her Hijab to students as a way to combat the alleged bullying of Muslim kids.
Public schools participating in WHD have used press releases, posters and notices in school calendars, and they have even utilized the activism of Muslim youth groups to advertise and promote the event to students.
It’s not unusual for schools to invite the media to watch the ordeal unfold on school property or even provide newspapers and television news stations with publicity photos of students dressed as Muslims after the event.
Martin Mawyer, president of Christian Action Network, said having public schools celebrate World Hijab Day is blatantly unconstitutional on several fronts.
“First,” Mawyer said, “having public schools ask students to dress as Muslims during classroom hours is an obvious advancement of the Islamic religion over other religions, and the courts have repeatedly held this to be unconstitutional.”
“Schools are not only providing Muslim head scarves to students, but in some cases teachers are actually helping students put them on.”
“Imagine,” Mawyer added, “if there was such a thing called World Cross Day, where schools actually promoted the event, helped obtain crosses for students to wear, had teachers string them around their necks and then sent out publicity photos of students dressed as Christians to the news media afterward.
“Groups like the ACLU would not only be filing a lawsuit, but they would have won that lawsuit before the first cross could reach the school parking lot.”
Second, Mawyer said organizers of WHD admit the point of the event is to show that Muslims rule the world.
“It’s right on their Facebook page for anyone to see,” Mawyer said.
The message on the Facebook page, carrying the official banner World Hijab Day, says:
“We rule the world, don’t we? And nobody knows that. Why? Because we see everyone and no one sees us.”
Mawyer said the meaning is quite clear, even if the statement is deceptive and dishonest.
“Getting a bunch of public school children to dress up as Muslims for the day is not going to convince anyone that Islam rules the world,” he said. “But we would be mistaken to miss the message what they want us to believe, that by seeing all these students covered in Muslim head scarves we’ll think Islam rules the world.
“It’s foolish to argue that a program using school children as religious props and promotional stooges for Islam is somehow constitutional,” he added. “Again, would public schools host an event called World Cross Daywhere organizers admit that the point is to show that Christians rule the world? Of course not.”
Finally, Mawyer said, organizers divulge that World Hijab Day is meant to help convert children to Islam.
“When Rahaf Othman admitted that World Hijab Day is dawah, she doomed the program on constitutional grounds,” Mawyer said. “Dawah is the proselytizing or preaching of Islam. Throw that message out to a judge, and World Hijab Day will be barfed out of every classroom in the country.”
To combat WHD, Christian Action Network is contacting all 50 governors and state education secretaries to formally demand that public schools in their states be directed to reject the celebration of World Hijab Day.
CAN has also published a special report exposing World Hijab Day, which it is distributing to families across the United States.
CAN will also be producing a short documentary film about World Hijab Day that that will available on DVD when finished and distributed across various social media outlets.
“Christian parents do not send their children to public schools to be dressed up and paraded around as converts to and adverts for Islam,” Mawyer said. “I think when we’re done with our outreach program, the one thing organizers of World Hijab Day are going to realize is that Islam does not rule the United States and that it’s parents, not the schools, who rule their kids.”