These High School Girls Do Something Amazing That Puts Islamophobia to Shame

December 17th 2015

Taylor Bell

In an effort to combat negative perceptions about Islam, a group of Muslim high school students outside Chicago invited non-Muslim women to wear head coverings for a day in an event called, "Walk A Mile In Her Hijab."

The Muslim Student Association at Vernon Hills High School wanted to give non-Muslim, female students a chance to don the well-known religious head scarf to better understand the Islamic faith and its followers, the Daily Herald reports.

"You can't really understand or judge a person and their beliefs until you understand why they do it and what it's like for them to do what they're doing," Yasmeen Abdallah, the school's Muslim Student Association president, told the Daily Herald. "This event is hopefully to denounce negative stereotypes."

According to a 2015 HuffPost/YouGov poll, 55 percent of Americans have a negative view of Muslims. The same poll also found that 60 percent of Americans say that they don't understand the Islamic religion, and more than 60 percent of people don't personally know or work with anyone who is Muslim.

YouGov Muslim Poll

Moreover, Muslim women who wear hijabs are more likely to face discrimination than Muslim women who did not wear the covering, according to the American Civil Liberties Union. Sixty-nine percent of Muslim women who wear a hijab reported at least one incident of discrimination compared to 29 percent of Muslim women who do not wear one.

Related: This Woman's Response to Donald Trump's Muslim ID Proposal Is Going Viral

With the recent terror attacks in Paris, the shooting in San Bernardino, California, and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's proposal to ban all Muslims entering the U.S., Islamophobia has made the conversation between Muslims and non-Muslims a difficult process — something Vernon Hills High School's Muslim Student Association and principal understand.

Related: Donald Trump Just Took Islamophobia to a Near Unimaginable Level

Abdallah and the Muslim Student Association are not the only ones trying to erase stigmas by encouraging non-Muslim women to wear a hijab. A campaign called #JeSuisHijabi began in Canada by Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at in response to the terrorist attacks in Paris in November and the continuous misrepresentation of Islam all over the world, Buzzfeed reports.

“We really felt that as empowered Muslim women that it’s essential to use our voice and help Canadians better understand the Muslim identity,” Hena Malik, an organizer and spokesperson of the hijab campaign, told BuzzFeed Canada. "Everyone is embracing this idea, and everyone’s curious. And here is this great, comfortable way to learn more about the hijab and become more acquainted with Muslim women in the veil.”