An American actress is encouraging women to wear head scarves on Donald Trump's inauguration day in a show of solidarity with Muslim women who wear the hijab.
Kathy Najimy, best known for starring in Sister Act and Disney’s Hocus Pocus, recommended women attending an anti-inauguration march in Washington on Friday wear a scarf around their heads, “hijab style”, as a way of standing with their “about-to-be-disenfranchised Muslim Sisters”.
In a statement posted on Facebook, 59-year-old Ms Najimy wrote: “We wanted to create an action, visible and easy, to proclaim our commitment to freedom of religion and to the constitution — religion or no religion.
“We intend to show that we stand in solidarity with our about-to-be-disenfranchised Muslim sisters."
The actress insisted that such an act would not mean endorsing any religious doctrine, but "standing for freedom", adding: “We support every woman's right to worship as they wish and live in security and peace.
"We are by no means endorsing or aligning with any religious doctrine, but simply standing for freedom."
Ms Najimy is leading a campaign group called Sisterhood of the Travelling Scarves in the nationwide call ahead of a women’s march on Friday, which is expected to see more than 100,000 people in Washington to protest against Mr Trump’s presidency, viewing it specifically as a “feminist issue”.
Speaking to American website People, Ms Najimy explained the source of her motivation.
“I saw a woman with an hijab, and I thought, how can she know that I support her without going up and embarrassing her? So I thought, what if we wore them on Inauguration Day?" she said.
“All issues of freedom and human rights are important to me, and I’m not a religious person or a person who supports any particular religion, but I believe in rights as a citizen, in American rights. And I believe, as the constitution says, the right to worship however you choose.”
Following Mr Trump’s surprise election victory, Muslim women in the US expressed “tremendous levels of fear” over the incoming administration, after the President-elect's repeated criticism of Muslims and campaign pledge to ban them from entering the USA, promising a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims” entering the country.
Since his win, despite initially appearing to backtrack on the ban, Mr Trump has failed to rule out plans to establish a registry for Muslim immigrants in the US, which would force immigrants from Muslim countries to register on a database, although there has been no clarification as to how he would plan to execute the controversial policy.
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