A Baptist high school guidance counselor is wearing a hijab to school as a way of combating anti-Muslim rhetoric.
Martha DeVries, who is a youth pastor’s wife, began wearing a headscarf to North Kansas City High School every Monday after she was inspired by a sermon in which the pastor challenged the congregants to make a difference.
The 47-year-old said wearing a headscarf helps her identify with Muslim women at a time when the actions of all Muslims, even pacifists, are being overshadowed by the violence instigated by extremists — which in turn negatively affects how the Muslim community as a whole is perceived.
"I've just gotten very tired of hearing so many negative things, like Donald Trump's 'let's not let Muslim immigrants into the United States' and the scare on Syrian refugees," DeVries told Baptist News.
DeVries' husband and part-time youth pastor, Mike, supports his wife and thinks her idea to wear a scarf is “kind of cool.”
After the first month, DeVries reported she did not experience any negative repercussions as a result of her support for Muslims.
"Especially on Mondays when I am wearing the hijab, I feel like I get knowing looks from Muslim students and appreciative smiles but I could just be imagining that too," DeVries stated. "I figure one of these days, some girl is going to come to me and say you are not wearing that scarf correctly, let me show you how to put it on your head but so far, that hasn't happened."
However, the same cannot be said for a Wheaton College professor who also decided to wear a hijab as a sign of solidarity during Advent.
Larycia Alaine Hawkins was suspended by the evangelical college not just for wearing a hijab but for stating on Facebook (the post has since been deleted) that Christians and Muslims worship the same God.
Although DeVries and Hawkins might have the support of some Muslim women, many others equally oppose their experiment.
Two Muslim women from India and Egypt argued last December that non-Muslims who don the hijab for good intentions might actually be propagating a conservative Muslim ideology that oppresses women.
However, this is not entirely true. Many Muslim women put on the traditional head scarf of their own free will and are successful women who are not “traditionally submissive.”