Last week a gunman opened fire at two mosques in New Zealand killing 50 people. On Friday however, women across New Zealand stood with the Muslims by wearing headscarves.
During a prayer ceremony near the Al Noor mosque where most of the people were killed, women donning headscarves took pictures, some together with their children.
While visiting victims of the country’s worst terrorist attack in modern history, the Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern wore a black head scarf while a police woman manning the Christchurch cemetery also donned a head scarf with a gun in hand.
Ardern on Thursday declared a ban Thursday on military-style rifles, which includes assault rifles, high-capacity magazines and military-like semi-automatic rifles.
Those in support of the “Head Scarf for Harmony” campaign say that it has given them an opportunity to appreciate what it “must be like to be a minority and to wear clothing that perhaps the majority don’t normally wear.”
While hijabs are a sign of modesty, critics continue to view it as a sign of oppression of women.
Some say that non-Muslims should show support by observing a minute of silence. Others questioned why Muslims have never taken off their hijabs in show of support to others.
A Muslim woman against the movement said the campaign was “cheap tokenism.”
“The attack in Christchurch was not just about Muslims, it was against any person of color in a ‘white’ country so this focus on hijabs is derailing the examination of white supremacy, systematic racism, Orientalism and bigotry,” she said.