‘Hijab Challenge’ at Fresno State Lets Students Be ‘Muslims for a Day’

The Muslim Student Association at Fresno State hosted a “Hijab Challenge” on Wednesday and Thursday in order to help non-Muslim students experience what it is like to wear a head scarf and be viewed as a Muslim.

“It feels a little bit tighter thanI thought it would be,” Kate Hobbs, 18.

“I don’t know. I’m a white girl in a hijab … I think it will be good for me today,” the Christian woman said. She added, “I’ve heard that wearing the hijab can be pretty liberating because it gives you an opportunity to appear as a woman without needing to show off your body … So I’m interested in that.”

Muslim women reportedly handed out free scarves and wrapped them for non-Muslim students. They also offered caps, kufis, for men.

The challenge reportedly took place in the Free Speech area, across from the Henry Madden Library, on the Fresno State campus at 5241 N. Maple Ave. The Bee noted that the day culminated with a lecture titled “Anti-Muslim, Anti-Arab Discrimination and Civil Rights,” which took place in the school’s Alice Peters Auditorium.

The Hijab Challenge also  included taking a photo and posting it on social media with the hashtag #FSHijabChallenge, wearing the headscarf for the rest of the day and reporting back about the experience.

Instagram yielded 28 posts under the hashtag #FSHijabChallenge.

A female Fresno State student relayed her experience wearing a hijab over her Instagram profile: “#FSHijabChallenge proved very interesting. I had someone ask me “Why the hell are you wearing that?” And then proceed to tell me how seeing it freaked them out. I had only had it on for about two hours at that point. Definitely a new experience.


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