Massey staff member starts scarf campaign


Māori and Pasifika communications and marketing senior executive Raewyn Rasch.


A Massey staff member has launched a campaign encouraging women around New Zealand to wear scarves on Friday, March 22 to show their solidarity for those affected by the terror attacks in Christchurch.

Māori and Pasifika communications and marketing senior executive Raewyn Rasch came up with the idea after seeing news reports about Muslim women feeling too scared to wear their headscarves in public. She launched the campaign with friend and broadcaster Anna Thomas yesterday.

 Ms Rasch says New Zealand is in mourning, and many Kiwis want to show their solidarity for the Muslim community and to help them to feel supported and safe.

“Women who wear the hijab or traditional head scarf continue to be targeted by a very small and ugly group of people in New Zealand,” she says. “By wearing a headscarf on Friday, just one week on from the tragedy, we are saying racism and bigotry will not be tolerated here. We are one."   

Islamic Women’s Council gives its support

After conceiving the idea for Scarves in Solidarity, Ms Rasch contacted the Islamic Women’s Council to make sure the gesture would be well-received by the Muslim community. Founding council member Nasreen Hannif confirmed it was “one of the best ways to show solidarity”. 

“A lot of Muslim women who wear the hijab are scared to go out in the wake of last Friday’s tragedy,” Ms Hannif says. “This is a wonderful gesture which shows New Zealand is with us in our grief.” 

Ms Rasch hopes enough people take this simple action on Friday for Muslim women to actually see the level of support they have in their communities. 

“Wouldn’t it be amazing if Massey’s Muslim students and staff could see the support of all their colleagues and fellow students as they walk around the campus this Friday.

“But this is bigger than Massey. Get your friends, your brothers and sisters, your colleagues, your sports team and your church together and share a photo so we can show the world that we are one.” 

A Facebook page (www.facebook.com/Scarvesinsolidarity) has been set up and people are being urged to use the hashtags #scarvesinsolidarity #weareone #theyareus to support the National Scarf Day on Friday, March 22. 

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