With a videotaped interview of a rural-Virginia pastor, the World Hijab Day documentary project is under-way by the Christian Action Network.
In a growing number of public schools, World Hijab Day is an annual event taking place during the first week of February that asks students to wear the Muslim hijab during classroom hours.
Christian Action Network President Martin Mawyer travelled to Altavista to sit down with David Sage, who in addition to leading a church has interactions with local public schools.
Mawyer is leading a national effort to expose World Hijab Day as a religious observance, therefore not appropriate for school-day activity at a public or government-funded educational facility.
So a question for Pastor Sage was, could he see starting a Christian-related school-day observance of, say, baptism, communion, wearing Christian crosses or Christian religious head coverings?
“If a Christian group were to try to start such an event, it would be shut down right away,” Sage said, adding he would not think in that direction at all.
Sage interacts with student-initiated fellowship opportunities that take place outside the scope of the school day.
“The school itself does not sponsor any events like that, I don’t believe they would ever do that,” Sage noted. “What I have seen is student led activities, if students initiate it, they need a teacher to sponsor it.”
Mawyer explained that according to its organizers World Hijab Day is a sign of Islam’s dominion over the world, and Hijab is a religious uniform that follows strict rules in order to please Allah.
If a christian group were to try such an event, it would be shut down right away – sage
“With this in mind, do schools that observe World Hijab Day engage in a double standard?” Mawyer asked Sage.
“As I see it, yes it is,” Sage responded. “If you’re going to exclude my message and include some other message, then I see that as hypocrisy.”
Sage added he also has concerns about parental consent and prior knowledge. If parents find out that a school day will include the World Hijab Day observance, “I would say that needs to be discussed with school officials,” he said.
“If I were that parent, I would want to go to school officials and first ask what their goals are with this, and what they think this means.”