University makes ‘Emergency Hijab Kits’ available on campus
Dalhousie University makes ‘Emergency Hijab Kits’ available on campus,” Postmedia News, November 28, 2017 (thanks to Shaun):
Dalhousie University has made ‘Emergency Hijab Kits’ available to female Muslim students at multiple locations across the Halifax campus.
The fear is that female Dalhousie Muslim students are being targeted by individuals on and off campus and are having their hijabs forcibly removed. However, no such incidents have been reported to authorities.
The project was a joint venture between the Dalhousie Student Union (DSU) and Nova Scotia Public Interest Research Group (NSPIRG) and launched earlier this month.
According to a Facebook post, the kits were made necessary due to increased violence on Canadian campuses towards female visible minorities.
“In recognizing the increased incidences of violence towards Women of Colour on campuses across the country, we’ve created these kits so that anyone who has their headdress targeted can quickly get access to a replacement,” reads the announcement by NSPIRG.
Speaking with CBC News, Dalhousie Student Union President Amina Abawajy said, “This is a proactive measure, but it’s not unfounded,” claiming to have been made personally aware of multiple incidents by way of being a member of the Muslim community.
The kits contain the scarf itself, pins for securing the hijab, tips for bystanders and information on how to report incidents to authorities.
Organizers have offered to make them available to departments and offices throughout Dalhousie in addition to the DSU Info Desk, the NSPIRG office and Dal Security for 24/7 access.
Dalhousie spokesman Janet Bryson told The Canadian Press that while the university has agreed to allow the kits, officials do not expect the kits to be used.
“The university has not had a case where someone has had their headdress targeted,” she said in an email. “Our expectation is that they won’t have to be used.”
However, Masuma Khan, a Dalhousie Student executive member who was recently embroiled in a controversy of her own, disagrees and believes such incidents are common.
Masuma Khan, a Muslim student leader poses in Halifax on Saturday, October 28, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darren Calabrese
Comments made by Khan were placed under investigation by the university after she posted with the hashtag “#whitefragilitycankissmya–” in response to backlash over a motion to abstain from Canada 150 celebrations for “over 400 years of genocide.” The university later withdrew the complaint.
“I’ve heard many Muslim women talking about their hijab being yanked, spat on, or even pulled right off,” she said. “Sometimes you don’t even notice it, like you’re in class and someone will spit on you from behind and you don’t realize it until you’re fixing your hijab. It’s the most demeaning behaviour.”
A Halifax Regional Police spokeswoman said she wasn’t aware of any incidents related to head coverings being pulled off in the city.