Vernon Hills High School is objecting to Islamophobia and racism with an initiative called “Walk a Mile in Her Hijab.”
Over a dozen non-Muslim girls agreed to wear a traditional Islamic head scarf to better understand the Muslim faith and life as a Muslim woman.
School senior Yasmeen Abdallah, the president of the MSA, who coordinated the event said, “This event is to hopefully denounce negative stereotypes.”
“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,” she said.
“I think it is a difficult time to be a Muslim student in our high school, in our community and in America,” School principal Jon Guillaume told the Daily Herald by praising the Muslim student’s initiative.
“I think this is an opportunity for our kids to embrace the Muslim community within the school. For other kids outside of this organization, to understand what it’s like for these girls to walk through our halls in this garment in a way that stands out from other kids. So, I’m proud of them.”
Charli Mosley, who participated in the event told the Herald that she wanted to wear the Hijab because her uncle is a Muslim and she hoped to “bring more acceptance” to Islamic beliefs.
“I wanted to learn more about the religion, considering my uncle is also Muslim,” Charli said while wearing a red hijab. “With more people wearing a hijab around school, it could bring more acceptances to the religion and have more people become more aware.”
You go girls!
In Baghdad, a Muslim woman (in black hair covering and holding a copy of the Quran) stands in solidarity with a Christian woman (in white hair covering and holding a copy of the Bible), to show solidarity with the dwindling number of Iraqi Christians and their right to live freely and peacefully side-by-side with their Muslim sisters and brothers.
A couple in Turkey swapped out lavish nuptials with their friends and family for the bread line with thousands of Syrian refugees.
Fethullah Üzümcüoğlu and Esra Polat doled out food to 4,000 Syrian refugees for their wedding reception on the border town of Kilis. The bride wore an elaborate white dress, with a tiara perched on her headdress, and the groom sported a white tuxedo with black trim. They stood behind large food trucks distributing meals to hungry Syrians. The couple had decided that instead of hosting their friends and family for a traditional banquet reception, they would feed the victims of a bloody civil war next door.
After reading a CNN article I felt the need to share this list they created!
Around the year 1,000, the celebrated doctor Al Zahrawi published a 1,500 page illustrated encyclopedia of surgery that was used in Europe as a medical reference for the next 500 years. Among his many inventions, Zahrawi discovered the use of dissolving cat gut to stitch wounds — beforehand a second surgery had to be performed to remove sutures. He also reportedly performed the first caesarean operation and created the first pair of forceps.
Now the Western world’s drink du jour, coffee was first brewed in Yemen around the 9th century. In its earliest days, coffee helped Sufis stay up during late nights of devotion. Later brought to Cairo by a group of students, the coffee buzz soon caught on around the empire. By the 13th century it reached Turkey, but not until the 16th century did the beans start boiling in Europe, brought to Italy by a Venetian trader.
3. Flying machine
“Abbas ibn Firnas was the first person to make a real attempt to construct a flying machine and fly,” said Hassani. In the 9th century he designed a winged apparatus, roughly resembling a bird costume. In his most famous trial near Cordoba in Spain, Firnas flew upward for a few moments, before falling to the ground and partially breaking his back. His designs would undoubtedly have been an inspiration for famed Italian artist and inventor Leonardo da Vinci’s hundreds of years later, said Hassani.
In 859 a young princess named Fatima al-Firhi founded the first degree-granting university in Fez, Morocco. Her sister Miriam founded an adjacent mosque and together the complex became the al-Qarawiyyin Mosque and University. Still operating almost 1,200 years later, Hassani says he hopes the center will remind people that learning is at the core of the Islamic tradition and that the story of the al-Firhi sisters will inspire young Muslim women around the world today.
The word algebra comes from the title of a Persian mathematician’s famous 9th century treatise “Kitab al-Jabr Wa l-Mugabala” which translates roughly as “The Book of Reasoning and Balancing.” Built on the roots of Greek and Hindu systems, the new algebraic order was a unifying system for rational numbers, irrational numbers and geometrical magnitudes. The same mathematician, Al-Khwarizmi, was also the first to introduce the concept of raising a number to a power.
“Many of the most important advances in the study of optics come from the Muslim world,” says Hassani. Around the year 1000 Ibn al-Haitham proved that humans see objects by light reflecting off of them and entering the eye, dismissing Euclid and Ptolemy’s theories that light was emitted from the eye itself. This great Muslim physicist also discovered the camera obscura phenomenon, which explains how the eye sees images upright due to the connection between the optic nerve and the brain.
Muslim musicians have had a profound impact on Europe, dating back to Charlemagne tried to compete with the music of Baghdad and Cordoba, according to Hassani. Among many instruments that arrived in Europe through the Middle East are the lute and the rahab, an ancestor of the violin. Modern musical scales are also said to derive from the Arabic alphabet.
According to Hassani, the Prophet Mohammed popularized the use of the first toothbrush in around 600. Using a twig from the Meswak tree, he cleaned his teeth and freshened his breath. Substances similar to Meswak are used in modern toothpaste.
9. The crank
Many of the basics of modern automatics were first put to use in the Muslim world, including the revolutionary crank-connecting rod system. By converting rotary motion to linear motion, the crank enables the lifting of heavy objects with relative ease. This technology, discovered by Al-Jazari in the 12th century, exploded across the globe, leading to everything from the bicycle to the internal combustion engine.
“Hospitals as we know them today, with wards and teaching centers, come from 9th century Egypt,” explained Hassani. The first such medical center was the Ahmad ibn Tulun Hospital, founded in 872 in Cairo. Tulun hospital provided free care for anyone who needed it — a policy based on the Muslim tradition of caring for all who are sick. From Cairo, such hospitals spread around the Muslim world.
If you’ve been skulking around Muslim Twitter lately, or anywhere else that’s on the internet you’ll know of the woman who is currently brining hijab into the present fashion conversation. Her photo has been passed along thousands of times. She stands in a doorway in big round movie star shades with wide legged palazzo pants, a pink overcoat, a checkered hijab, and a look that says yes, I am this gorgeous all the time.
The woman’s name is Maria Hidrissi and she is one of the new poster children for H&M’s new conscious clothing line coming out for the fall fashion season.
Maria Hidrissi didn’t just model for an ad campaign, she awakened the people. In a simple and quiet way she made others look at a Muslim woman without fear or contempt but with a healthy curiosity.
Because sometimes, throwing Muslim rage at social issues doesn’t always work. Being super nice doesn’t always work either. But to stand and be noticed, to be accounted for, that’s an example anyone can follow. So we are thankful to Maria Hidrissi for having impeccable taste in clothing and a facial expression that kills. Personally, I hope to see her in more ads for different brands who want to be bold enough to let Muslim women be seen.
Muslim women will make themselves seen whether we are invited to the table or not. tweet
And please believe, various clothing brands, that one way or another Muslim women will make themselves seen whether we are invited to the table or not.
Jeff Cook is pastor of Atlas Church in Greeley, Colorado and fasting the month of Ramadan as a sign of solidarity with Muslims.
Over the last 50 years, Christians and Muslims have found countless reasons to kill one another. For every graphic image Americans see of ISIS, there is a parallel photo of a young Muslim boy killed in his homeland because of Western activities. Bloody tally marks have become so common we no longer see death. We see routine.
It’s time for a new way forward.
Last spring, I saw a set of photographs on Twitter of Islamic Americans who chose to fast during Lent as a sign of solidarity with their Christian neighbors (see #Muslims4Lent). I saw pictures of children who looked very different from my own holding up signs with their names and a commitment to give up their favorite toys or fast food for forty days. They were telling my kids, “We appreciate you and your culture and your faith and we want to elevate your time of devotion in our hearts.”
I saw pictures of young Muslim males with signs in hand, not highlighting our distinctions or past injuries, but outlining where they would sacrifice for Lent in order to journey with me during the season I held as most holy.
And I was moved.
Did these Muslims believe that Jesus was crucified to defeat sin and death? Probably not. Did these Muslims believe Christ should be declared “Son of God” or that his resurrection was the decisive event in world history? Again, no. But this did not keep them from saying, “We will stand beside Christians during Lent because we share this planet, because God gifts us the same sun and rain, because we need a new way forward.”
These pictures challenged me. In seeing men my own age with signs that not only said they wished me well but proclaimed my value and the value of my faith, all my natural distrust fell to the side. I realized in fresh ways that I’m tired of voices telling me that in order to love my country I need to be suspicious of Arabs. I’m tired of feeling the only response available to graphic videos is fiery retaliation. Most of all, I’m tired of being just a bystander and having nothing to offer for the cause of reconciliation and peace in a world that God loves so much.
But I hope this will change. My heart and trajectory need to change from one of simply criticizing war-profiteers and cable news channels to actually taking a decisive posture.
This year during Ramadan (June 16- July 17), I will fast and pray for those who embrace Islam: people I have not yet met, whose stories I have not heard, but whose lives matter to God and whose acts of devotion often display a character I would wish for myself and my sons.
Following Jesus is not an obstacle to such solidarity. In fact, I feel encouraged to celebrate Ramadan because I am a Christian. It is because I know Jesus is Lord that I can live without fear, that I can challenge myself to love more deeply and creatively. Table-fellowship is always a subversive act for the Christian, and it is because I follow Jesus that I can eat alongside as well as refrain withanyone—no matter who they are, no matter what they believe, no matter what they have done.
I am not interested in fasting this month for ascetic reasons. I am not converting to Islam. I will embrace the self-sacrificial practices of others around the world because Jesus reminds me that it is those who hunger that will be filled, that the meek alone will inherit the earth, and that those who make peace will be called children of God.
I recognize not everyone reading this follows Jesus, but if you wish to join If you wish to join me and many others, post a photo on twitter and tag it #Christians4Ramadan.