Students wear hijabs in show of soladarity with Muslim classmates

Wednesday is World Hijab Day

Students wear hjiabs to support Muslims - PEORIA, Il 
 
Students at a Peoria public school use a simple gesture to make a loud statement. As controversy surrounds the nation's acceptance of Muslims, they are making sure classmates know where they stand. 
 
"It means the world to me." 
 
Wednesday morning, Ariej Mohamed tears swelled the eyes of Ariej Mohamed as she walked into school. Several of her Richwoods High classmates wearing scarves around their heads in support of Mohamed and other Muslim students.  
 
"It's a target. It's fingers pointing to themselves saying 'I stand with the Muslims,' she said.  "And the bravery that comes behind that - it's so moving."
 
World hijab day allows women who are not practicing Muslims to experience what it's like to wear a hijab. 
 
"I's showing that those who are Muslim [are not] alone, and that there are people out there who support them even if you don't practice the religion, said junior and devout Christian, Lizzie Shearer. "And I think to others it shows you do not have to be an extremist to wear a hijab."
 
"Especially now with everything political happening it is important to show that you are supporting your classmates and your friends and the people around you at school,"  said Nuha Shaikh. The junior is part of the Muslim Student Association board.  
 
The display of solidarity comes on the heels of President Trump's executive order many people refer to as "a Muslim Ban." The order blocks entry to the U.S. for people in several predominately Muslim countries. And in the girl's backyard, a sign at the Islamic Center of Peoria was defaced with Neo-Nazi grafitti. The act rattled the local Muslim community, including Mohamed's father who she says built the facility. 
 
 "The whole idea of us standing together is what brings safety to all of us," she said.  
 
The senior student, who is also president of the Muslim Student Association, considers the decision by classmates to voluntarily walk in the shoes of her peers will break stereotypes. 
 
"We're saying that hey, if you attack them then you are attacking me," said Mohamed. "We are all one people."  
 
Richwoods High School's Muslim Student Association organized the event.  Mohamed wore an hijab with an American Flag print because she wants everyone to know she is as much American as she is Muslim. 
 

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