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PROVO — A group of BYU students is turning heads on campus by wearing traditional hijabs.
For the last three Wednesdays, Sondra Sasser and 11 other students have added the garment to their wardrobe to show support for Utah's Muslim community.
Most of the students are majoring in Middle Eastern studies, so they are very familiar with the culture. They have also been in contact with Muslim community leaders in Salt Lake City.
"A lot of Muslims are feeling uncomfortable about things and they are feeling scared about things or just misunderstood, and so any show of solidarity, I think, can be touching," Sasser said.
She said it is no doubt raising a lot of eyebrows around the Provo campus.
"I think a lot of people get excited to see diversity on campus a little bit," Sasser said.
Hanif Sulaeman with the BYU Muslim Association said he supports the group's efforts.
"It's like they are saying, 'This is how we can support you,' and, 'You are not alone,'" Sulaeman said.
He appreciates the steps the group is taking to try to understand his beliefs by putting worldly fashions aside and wearing the symbolic garment the entire day.
"If you wear hijab, you don't have to worry about that. It's just be simple, be you and I think that is the message," said Sulaeman.
It may be a small gesture but one Sasser believes can make a big difference in the fight to end discrimination. "We have a lot in common with our Muslim brothers and sisters … and I have a lot of respect for the faith," Sasser said. "The best way to understand (the religion) is to talk to Muslims. I know that the people who will, will be very impressed by it."
The group members say they will continue the tradition into the next semester. They have set up a Facebook page for anyone looking for more information.