‘We’ll still be Muslim and we’ll still be strong’

World Hijab Day an opportunity to learn about Muslim culture

Muslim and non-Muslim students at George Brown College came together just days after police arrested Alexandre Bissonnette for the mass-shooting that killed six people and wounded 19 at a mosque in Quebec City on Jan. 29.

Bissonnette, who was known to support US President Donald Trump and far-right French politician Marie LePen online, is now charged with six counts of first-degree murder and five counts of attempted murder.

On Wednesday, students at George Brown College (GBC) participating in World Hijab Day were talking about the attack. The  Muslim Students Association (MSA) at George Brown College organized the event.

“I was devastated, but I realized that no matter what, we’ll still be Muslim and we’ll still be strong­. We won’t judge everyone for one person’s mistake,” said Katto Musa, a student in the transition to postsecondary-education (TPE) program.

Students were also concerned about US President Donald Trump’s executive order banning all refugees for four months, in the case of Syrian refugees it is indefinite. It also banned all citizens of Muslim-majority countries Syria, Iraq, Iran, Yemen, Somalia, Sudan and Libya from entering the country for 90 days.

“It sickens me actually, I don’t think Trump is doing a good job,” said Tina Haynes, a TPE student. “I feel sorry for the Americans, but I feel worse for the refugees not allowed to come into the country. What kind of world is it if we’re not all allowed to come in and be a part of it?”

Many of the students who attended the event said they appreciated the opportunity to learn about the hijab, what it stands for and to learn more about the culture.

“I wish people would ask us questions about hijabs, we would have a better definition for them,” said Hirah Safi, a member of the MSA and a social service worker student.

Safi said the hijab is more than just a headscarf; it represents humility and her self-expression.

“I don’t practice (Islam) personally, but this event takes away all the negative stigma and teaches people about Muslims,” said Merrin Cousins, just before they tried on their first hijab.

“The girls are showing us how to wear hijabs and they are teaching us that no matter where you’re from, no matter what you wear, we are all the same,” said Musa.

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‘We’ll still be Muslim and we’ll still be strong’