A Christian children’s director in Illinois is wearing a hijab whenever she leaves her home in the Lenten season. Jessey Eagan says she was inspired to dress like a Muslim woman to experience what it was like to be an outsider.
"I want to remind myself what it feels like to be an outsider – ‘the other,’” Eagan said. “So, I'm practising hospitality this Lent by getting into the shoes (or hijab) of my Muslim friends and neighbors.”
Eagan ran her idea past a Muslim friend first, to make sure the Muslim community wouldn’t find the gesture offensive.
In her blog, Eagan wrote that her friend responded positively.
“You are a very thoughtful person full of great ideas,” her friend said. “I don’t see a reason why people get offended by a very thoughtful, nice, and peaceful act. Our role is teach and educate all people and I’m 100% in support of this idea.”
Eagan said that she was originally nervous to don the hijab at a time where “there is increasing animosity once again from (white) Americans towards Muslims in our communities.”
However, she believes her experiment models Jesus’ teaching.
"Jesus said to love our neighbours, strangers, and enemies,” Eagan said. “I think this is something that is not often taken seriously by many Christians. We are so influenced by the media, that we allow fear to take over, and forget to love. Fear is the opposite of love."
Publication date: March 5, 2015