Update February 1, 2016

Dhaka 5-58 am, 23-September, 2021

Female cyclists rally for hijabs

Sumel Sarker

hijab day

Female cyclists rally for hijabs

01 February 2015, Nirapad News: A group of female cyclists came under one banner on Sunday morning to ride their bicycles from Jatiyo Sangsad Bhaban, all while donning hijabs to celebrate the privately promoted World Hijab Day-2016.

The organisers have called for respecting women as they expressed solidarity with the day, which has drawn attention in dozens of countries under a social media platform.

The event was not only for the cyclists who regularly wear hijabs, but for non-hijabi women to experience what it is like to wear ones. While the tradition of wearing hijab is an Islamic concept of modesty and privacy, many think it is more of a personal and cultural idea, rather than a religious one. Moderates say women do not need to wear hijabs rather proper education from schools and families for both men and women could ensure respectful co-existence in the society.

The organisers of the event said they want to promote new concepts for good reasons and being part of the day was just another step as hijab has wide acceptance in Bangladeshi society, which is traditionally conservative.

Organised by ‘Female Cyclers of Bangladesh’, a page on Facebook solely for female cyclists, it was coordinated by its founder, Sefat-e-Kaniz.

They started their ride from Manik Mia Avenue in front of Jatiyo Sangsad Bhaban and rode their way around the city in a group consisting of beginners and moderate learners.

It has attracted interest from Muslims and even non-Muslims in more than 50 countries across the world.

For many people, the hijab is a symbol of oppression and divisiveness. It’s a visible target that often bears the brunt of a larger debate about conservative Islam in the West.

The World Hijab Day is designed to counter these controversies. It encourages non-Muslim women (or even Muslim women who do not ordinarily wear ones) to wear hijabs and experience what it’s like to do so as part of a bid to foster better understanding.

New Yorker Nazma Khan is the promoter of the World Hijab Day, which was penned on Feb. 1, 2013, and it has got popularity across the world in the face of controversy that Muslims are often bullied as they bear the brunt of terrorism perpetrated by radical Islamists who believe in harsh interpretation of the religion. Khan promoted the day, which has no recognition by any world bodies like the United Nations, after she as a Muslim faced bullying in the wake of 9/11 destruction of World Trade Centre in the United States.

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