Three Pittsburgh-area mothers are launching their “Hello Hijab” effort on April 1, providing handmade hijabs for children’s dolls, including Barbie.
A hijab is a covering worn by some Muslim women in public.
Gisele Fetterman, Safaa Bokhari, and Kristen Michaels say they launched “Hello Hijab” to teach children about inclusiveness, which they hope will lead to a “kinder generation” in the future.
“They will see it as a kind memory from their playtime, and then they will grow into a kinder generation, being used to playing with dolls that look different to them,” Fetterman said in a video published by Ruptly TV.
The hijabs, which the women say will be “Barbie compatible,” will cost $6.
“Hello Hijab is made in Pittsburgh, with love,” say the women on a website promoting the project. “100% of proceeds support organizations that protect and honor our multicultural communities.”
Hello Hijab is a project of For Good PGH, a newly formed nonprofit organization. In an e-mail to The Blaze, the women said For Good PGH is a nonprofit corporation recognized by Pennsylvania but “still in the process of retaining our tax exempt status from the IRS.”
“We are self-funding our initial production for Hello Hijab, and have received small initial grants from the local Pittsburgh foundation community,” the women told The Blaze. “We do not receive any government grants.”
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Some critics of the effort say the hijabs teach kids to be inclusive of Islam but not other religious or cultural groups, such as Buddhism, Judaism, or Christianity.
“Our initiative isn’t religious or politics related,” Fetterman and Michaels told The Blaze in response to these criticisms. “We simply believe every child deserves to see themselves/their families at playtime and familiarize themselves with people that may look different than them.”
“Our hope is to raise a kinder generation, one that wouldn’t write hateful comments or take the time to criticize a doll simply because it has a headscarf on,” Fetterman and Michaels said.
(H/T: Heat Street)