A new billboard in Dallas features a woman wearing a hijab, along with a 1-800 number and the words: respect, honor and strength. The Islamic Circle has partnered with a Chicago-area based group GainPeace to implement this six-week campaign which encourages non-Muslims to call and ask questions about the religious head scarf.
Ruman Sadiq, an outreach volunteer with the Dallas Chapter of the Islamic Circle of North America, says the current climate in America has led to misconceptions of Muslim women. “It’s very difficult at times for Muslim women to go out in public wearing a veil. We face a lot of discrimination in educational institutions, in the supermarkets and public arenas.”
The group wants to show that many Muslim women feel that wearing the hijab is not only a personal choice but one of empowerment. “It is also a form of liberation from strangers who dictate how women should dress in the society to be successful,” says Ms. Sadiq. “It’s to free us ourselves from being judged by our physical beauty, but rather our intellect and our character.”
Nahela Morales, also with the Islamic Circle, concurs and reiterates that wearing hijab is up to that individual. “There’s no oppression on both as the Quran tells us there’s no compulsion in religion. We do choose to even wear the head scarf. There’s women that do not wear the head scarf and that’s an individual process.”