A group of Saskatoon Muslim women is trying to break through stereotypes surrounding their religion. They invited other women at the U of S to meet them Thursday, and try wearing the hijab, as part of a national campaign called "Je Suis Hijabi", launched by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Women's Association.

Naila Chaudhry is a vice-president with the Ahmadiyya Muslim Students Association at the University of Saskatchewan. She said the campaign was launched after some negative responses to the attacks in Paris and other spots around the world.

"'Je Suis Hijabi' was launched to eliminate that division, to create understanding, to open doors of dialogue," Chaudhry said.

Naila Chaudhry and Desiree Steele

Naila Chaudhry helps Desiree Steele try on the hijab at the U of S. (Devin Heroux/CBC)

Thursday, she and other Muslim women set up a booth at the U of S where they encouraged non-Muslim women to wear the hijab and ask them questions about it. 

"To me my hijab is my confidence. It's my declaration to my faith," Chaudhry said. "To show my submission is to something greater, not fashion trends or designers. That my body is mine."

​Desiree Steele passed by the booth and tried on the hijab.

"Something as visible and politically loaded as a hijab has become, very unconnected from the people who wear them," Steele said. "I think that's a huge thing that I want to understand for the peers that I live with."

Organizers said they want to highlight Canadian values of multiculturalism, plurality and tolerance.

Try on a hijab

A group of Muslim women at the U of S invited non-Muslim women to try on the hijab on Thursday. (CBC)