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Tuesday, November 14, 2006

100 Attend Wear a Hijab/Turban Day Event

Samantha Keller of San Jose wrapped a pink scarf around her face Monday, covering her long, curly brown hair. The church-going Catholic donned a Muslim veil as part of a global social experiment to show that she respects other people's cultures and faiths.

``I didn't get any weird stares or feel ostracized,'' said Samantha, 15, a sophomore at San Jose's Presentation High School. ``My school is pretty tolerant, but I wonder how it would have been in the real world?''

She was among the few who took ``Wear a Hijab/Turban Day'' to heart.

The event officially kicked off at noon Monday when about 100 people attended a 30-minute ceremony in rainy, blustery weather in Fremont's Central Park. Most of the guests covered their heads for the gathering but took off their headgear afterward. Keller kept her scarf on all day....

The event was dreamed up by a handful of Fremont community activists in response to the Oct. 19 slaying of Alia Ansari, 38, an Afghan mother of six who wore a hijab the day she was killed. Muslim women cover their hair to show modesty.

Because Ansari had no known enemies, many perceive the brazen daytime shooting as a hate crime. Hijab-day organizers wanted to show Ansari's family, and the wider community, that Fremont is not a hateful place. [Link]

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