Some mothers in Pittsburgh have created tiny handmade hijabs for Barbie dolls to help children be more inclusive and to fight Islamophobia (video below).
"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," one of the moms, Gisele Fetterman, told RT.
Fetterman originally came up with the hijab idea on Jan. 21 when she and her 5-year-old daughter held a doll march to coincide with the Women's March in Washington D.C., notes Tribune Live.
Fetterman noticed they had dolls with black skin, a wheelchair, glasses, but no Muslims.
"That seemed wrong," Fetterman recalled. "The refugee population coming in is mostly Muslim, and they are not welcomed by everyone, which is painful to see. Of course, there are children among the refugees. But there are no dolls for them."
Fetterman and her friend Safaa Bokhari, from Saudi Arabia, searched the internet for Muslim dolls, but did not find any, so they decided to create the hijabs.
"My dream is that every school, with all the dolls they have, will have at least one," Fetterman stated. "If they play with it as children, when they become adults and see someone with a hijab they'll be more accepting."
Fetterman and another mom, Kristen Michaels, operate the Hello Hijab website, which states: "100% of proceeds support organizations that protect and honor our multicultural communities. Hello Hijab's first product, handmade hijabs for dolls will be available to order on April 1st."
Those organizations include the ACLU, Islamic Center of Pittsburgh and Community Blueprint Pittsburgh, reports Trib Live.
The moms say they have received dozens of donated hijabs from women who want the clothing to be made into the tiny accessories.
According to Fetterman and Michaels, they have gotten some negative feedback, but Fetterman told RT that it is to be expected:
As for the negative, which we have received, of course, as you do with anything that you do is bold and different. But it just continues to validate the need for a project like this. So, it’s allowed for a lot of conversations, it’s allowed for an education, a lot of folks aren’t familiar with so much of it.
We’ve had people come up to us and say, "I never knew it was called a hijab, but now I know, now I’ve read about it, and I’ve spoke to my children about it."