National Headscarf Day

National Headscarf Day
Friday 29 November 2002

A National Day of Solidarity with Muslim Women and a Protest Against Racially Motivated Attacks on Muslim Women in Australian Cities.

On Friday 29 November all Australian women everywhere are invited to wear a headscarf in public for the day. You do not need to change your attire, there is no rally to attend, no petitions to sign. It\’s easy. Dress as usual, put a scarf over your head and go about your day. Any scarf will do.

Headscarf Day is in solidarity with our Muslim sisters who have been the target of racially motivated attacks in Sydney recently. Traditional Muslim women are an easy target because their traditional dress makes them visible. Let us make them feel that they belong, and that they are protected, by helping them blend in. And let us send a message to the racist thugs who attack them that their behaviour is unacceptable. Men are also invited to join us by wearing some form of traditional Muslim head dress.

I am a Jewish woman, a former Israeli and an Australian citizen. I have decided to organise Headscarf Day because with my background I simply cannot sit by and watch while Muslim people and women in particular are becoming the target of racism.

ASIO\’s raids on Muslim homes are giving legitimacy to racist attacks on Muslims in our streets, and helping to create a culture of `us and them\’ in Australia. We must make it clear both to street thugs and our government that the Australian people are united in our rejection of racism, and that we will not allow the population of our country to be polarised. Surely there are appropriate ways to deal with security concerns without resorting to bullying and intimidation.