By Janet Saipovski
On Wednesday, Oct. 26, Ryerson’s Muslim Students’ Association came together to celebrate International Pink Hijab Day, an event held to embrace the Hijab as a religious choice while raising breast cancer awareness.
The initiative began in 2004 by group of high school students in Columbia, Missouri. The girls set out to encourage people to ask questions about Islam and their hijabs. As more people became interested, the Susan G. Komen Foundation, a breast cancer foundation, got involved.
Since then, the initiative spread worldwide, reaching as far as Egypt, the UK, Trinidad, Nigeria, and across North America.
“International Pink Hijab Day is an initiative to break down stereotypes and barriers between men and women, Muslims and non-Muslims, the sick and the healthy,” said Nida Khan, event coordinator. “In doing this, we hope to make modesty approachable.”
Members of the Ryerson community felt the same.
“It’s important to join together in the fight against breast cancer and religious awareness. Both of the issues face a lot of stereotypes, and it’s our job as a community to challenge them; to accept and help one another,” said Cassandra Grimonte, a first-year student.
Women involved hope to break down stigmas and stereotypes.
“I refuse to be tied down by [stereotypes],” said Asma Rahman.“My hijab is a choice that expresses my faith and my voice, not a religious stipulation.”
International Pink Hijab Day is “a proclamation: I am more than stereotypes say I am,” she said.