Salaam-Peace to all my awesome readers out there!
Ive gotten several questions and comments about non-Muslim women wearing the headscarf, how Muslims might react to it, and also comments and feelings of our greater non-Muslim societies' reaction to this "statement".
First off, its important to note that the scarf (headscarf/hijab) has been worn by women of many faiths and cultures pretty much since the beginning of civilization. Some wear it to keep warm, some because its fashionable, some because it is a part of the traditional cultural dress, and some because its a part of their faith. Unfortunately, wearing a scarf, veil, tichel, pashmina, hijab, dupatta (whatever you want to call it) today has become a symbol of oppression and extremist belief.
I am not an extremist, not even close. I am a VERY proud American. I vote, work, participate in community events, shop, go to school, exercise, travel...etc etc etc. And i do it all as a women wearing a scarf. I encourage ANY women who wants to wear a scarf to do so. The hijab is not just an Islamic practice. Jewish, Christian, Jain, and Hindu women (just to name a few) also wear headscarves. It doesn't stop me from conducting business, interacting within my community, volunteering at the homeless shelter, or even speaking in public at a forum. I love to meet new people from all walks of life, and my oh-so-interesting-scarf as often been the catalyst for many of the random conversations that have lead to lifelong friendships!
The best way for people to get over their fear and apprehension about the scarf (after all it is just piece of material)is to see women from non-Muslim groups and other faiths and beliefs wearing it as well. Wear it because its fashionable. Wear it because you don't feel like doing your hair that day. Wear it because its cold. Wear it...just because you want to! Its your body. You have control over it! 100% of it, even what goes on your head! :)