University of Wisconsin Demands Students Wear Hijabs-Mostly Fiction!

Summary of eRumor:

The University of Wisconsin-Madison forced female students to wear traditional Muslim hijabs during Islam Appreciation Week in Wisconsin, signaling the beginning of Sharia Law.

The Truth:

Students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison volunteered to wear hijabs to help understand what it’s like to be a Muslim woman in American society — but nobody was forced to partake.

Rumors that the University of Wisconsin demanded that students wear hijabs spread across fringe websites after the student newspaper, the Badger-Herald, ran a story about the “Hijabi for a Day” event in early December 2016.

That rumor is wrong on two fronts. First, the “Hijabi for a Day” event was organized by a Wisconsin chapter of the Muslim Students Association for Islam Appreciation Week. Second, students weren’t forced to participate in it — the elected to do so voluntarily.

The student group’s website describes the Hijabi for a Day event as such:

An exciting opportunity for those who are interested in trying on a Hijab for the day. Come pick your Hijab up at 8:15 am at the Red Gym. Feel free to keep the Hijab on as long as you feel comfortable. Around 7 PM a reflection on the experience will take place in the MSC Lounge, so please come join us for this discussion!

The student newspaper, the Badger-Herald, interviewed organizers and participants of the Hijabi for a Day event:

Farhat Bhuiyan, one of the organizers of the event, said one of the main goals is to normalize Muslim female practices. She said hijabs don’t always mean that a person is Muslim, they often do.

Throughout the day, Bhuiyan said she received both positive and negative feedback. She said that the negative feedback suggested it was cultural appropriation or offensive.

Bhuiyan said those who feel negatively might not understand the point of the event. She responded to every message she received during the day, trying to explain the organization’s goals.

At the end of the day, the women had an opportunity to reflect on the experiences and describe their feelings when wearing hijabs.

In the end, claims that the University of Wisconsin, or anyone else, demanded that students wear hijabs for Islam Appreciation week are false. Some students did, however, volunteer to do so for the student-organized event.

A real example of the eRumor as it has appeared on the Internet:

Collected on: 12/08/2016

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