Overcoming cultural barriers is one of the issues that will be discussed at the Women’s Annual Interfaith Symposium being held this Saturday (Dec. 12) in North Delta.
The symposium for women is being hosted by the Canadian chapter of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at Women’s Association, which recently launched a national campaign to combat the stigma associated with wearing a hijab – a head scarf worn by many Muslim women.
#JeSuisHijabi is a national movement that aims to remove the misconceptions surrounding Islamic women and the hijab by hosting events that allow Muslim women to talk about what wearing one means to them.
“We want to show that Muslim women who wear the hijab do so because they’re empowered by it,” said Ameera Hashmi, the symposium’s event coordinator. “They’re not oppressed, or being forced to wear it. It’s their choice.”
At the symposium, Hashmi said there will be a chance for attendees to learn more about the campaign, speak with women who wear hijabs, and try a hijab on. She noted similar events at North Delta’s George Mackie library, Surrey’s City Centre library and Calgary’s Mount Royal University have been met with positive results.
The idea behind the symposium and the campaign, Hashmi said, is to create an opportunity and space where different religions and communities can come together and discuss the shared similarities.
The movement has already begun to capture international attention and Hashmi hopes that by sharing their hijabi experiences, others will be educated on why Muslim women choose to wear one. Hashmi says for her, the hijab is a symbol of modesty.
The symposium, which features speakers from the Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Sikh, and Islamic faiths, and will take place this Saturday at the Baitur Rahman Mosque in North Delta, 9570 River Rd. from 2 to 4 p.m., and will include a booth about the #JeSuisHijabi campaign.
For more information, or to register for the symposium, call the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at Women’s Association at 778-322-1095, or visit them online at www.interfaithbc.weebly.com