Public demonstration brings crowd of hijab-clad students

The crowd gathered to take a picture with the posters put up in the week leading up to the demonstration.

Subaita Rahman, Staff Writer

On Wed Feb 1, Irvington students gathered in the courtyard in response to the executive orders placed by Donald Trump banning immigration from seven Muslim countries and building a wall on the Mexico border. Dozens of students also wore scarves and hijabs in order to celebrate and show their support for International Hijab Day.

The event began after school, with a little bit of delay as the coordinators finished up last-minute planning. What started off as a group of thirty students grew as more spectators became curious and decided to join the circle, including teachers and administrators like principal Mrs. Barrious, English teacher Ms.Kamal, and History teacher Mr.Lewis in an American flag “hijab.”

“Slowly more and more kids, who I would’ve never expected to, came and joined us,” said senior coordinator Samiha Uddin. “That just shows the power of how a ripple effect can reach by so many people.”
The group started off with a moment of silence dedicated to the victims of the Quebec shooting. Afterwards, the floor was open for anyone to speak about anything on their minds, and many people participated.

“It’s so crazy to imagine [the ban] happening to someone you’ve known your entire life,” said sophomore Riya Kataria. “This is unbelievable. Suddenly everyone thinks [Muslims] are villains.”

“Frankly, I’m not a Muslim,” said senior Humza Khan. “But my parents and grandparents are Muslim, and I’ve known Muslims my whole life. I have a lot of respect for everyone who came out here and wore a hijab.”

The gathering dispersed after about half an hour, at which point people stopped to take pictures or leave notes on large pieces of paper displayed on the courtyard walls. Many were brought to tears by the speeches, and stayed to talk to their fellow Muslims and learn about how to take further action.

“[I wanted to say] thank you for helping to put the event together,” said junior Kayla Cabral. “It was beautiful and I’m glad I got to be a part of it.”