Women in New Zealand donned headscarves Friday to show their solidarity with Muslims, a week after 50 people were killed at two mosques in Christchurch.
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Thaya Ashman, a doctor from Auckland, came up with the idea after hearing about a woman who said she was scared to go out in public because she believed her headscarf would make her a target for terrorists, the New Zealand Herald reported.
"I wanted to say: 'We are with you, we want you to feel at home on your own streets, we love, support and respect you,'" Ashman told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
Ashman checked with a close Muslim friend before pitching her idea to the Islamic Women's Council of New Zealand and the Muslim Association of New Zealand, the Herald reported. Both organizations readily agreed, the newspaper reported.
Ashman also said she called the head covering a headscarf, rather than a hijab, because it removed cultural formalities, the Herald reported.
At the Al Noor mosque, where most the victims were killed last week, people gathered to pray Friday. Meanwhile, women in Christchurch, Auckland and Wellington posted photos of themselves wearing the headscarves, Reuters reported.
"Why am I wearing a headscarf today? Well, my primary reason was that if anybody else turns up waving a gun, I want to stand between him and anybody he might be pointing it at," Bell Sibly, of Christchurch, told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation."And I don't want him to be able to tell the difference, because there is no difference."