Cairo: A Muslim woman, who graduated from the Royal New Zealand Police Academy last week, will become the country’s first officer to don the hijab after the police have made history by introducing the headdress into their outfits.
Zeena Ali, 30, applied to join the NZ police in the aftermath of last year’s Christchurch terrorist attacks.
Police approached the recruit for recommendations during the design process of the headgear.
She gave her feedback on how the uniformed hijab should be functional, comfortable and conform to Islamic precepts.
Ali appeared at the graduation ceremony, proudly wearing the official police hijab.
“It feels great to be able to go out and show the New Zealand Police hijab as part of my uniform,” she said.
“I think that seeing it, more Muslim women will want to join as well,” Ali told the NZ Herald.
“We need more Muslim women to help in the community … If we have more women turning up, a more diverse front line, then we can reduce more crime.”
Ali was born in Fiji, but has been living in New Zealand since her childhood.
The NZ police hope that the hijab introduction will inspire more Muslim women to join the force.
“Diversity is essential so that we can effectively serve the needs of New Zealand’s communities now and in the future,” police said.