The Trent Muslim Students Association (TMSA) participated in a global movement called Pink Hijab Day which aims to spread awareness about women’s issues across campus and across the world. The movement was started by a group of high school students in Missouri and has since spread globally, and as of last year, to the Trent campus.
The event had two goals in order to reach a wider audience and gain attention from individuals who may not have approached the table if it had been one cause or the other.
“People who come to talk about breast cancer learn about hijabs, and people who come to talk about hijabs learn about breast cancer,” said Noor Zan Zoul, the publicity director for the TMSA.
The event collected donations for local breast cancer support groups while simultaneously spreading information about hijab wearers.
Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer in Canadian women, and the TMSA aims to spread awareness about the illness and promote preventive screenings. Included in the goodie bags handed out was detailing information about self-administered breast exams.
While breast cancer more often presents itself in older women (40 years and older), it is important for young people to begin the pattern of self examinations to learn what their breasts feel like when healthy and recognize any abnormalities in the future.
Event organizers particularly wanted to address misconceptions about hijab wearers and provide a space for all to learn about the tradition. Pink Hijab Day opens a friendly discussion for the curious to ask questions of hijab wearers about what it means to them.
The TMSA hopes to provide a forum for the Trent community to address issues about Muslim culture in an inclusive space.
Vice-President Sobia Riaz said, “I think people do have questions that they may be very shy to ask. We provide a platform for that.” Pressures to remain politically correct can stifle meaningful conversations that address innocent concerns.
The TMSA plans to continue their public presence and inclusive forum with such upcoming events as a seminar on Atheism, Science, and Islam on November 13.