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Hijab and the Media

I don't know how MMW does it, but contributor Diana just posted a very timely article entitled 'Coverage of “Fashionable” Muslim Women Cramps Our Style' which you can read here.

Diana discusses the recent media of coverage of hijab bloggers and designers, including Hijab Style. This was my comment in reply to her post:

"Thanks for writing this. As a hijab blogger and one of those mentioned in the BBC article you linked to and many others; dealing with the media can be a bit frustrating. Somehow our words are always distorted (and sometimes simply even made up) to fit the sensationalist agenda of the article. But I guess that happens with most things Muslim-woman related anyway.

One of the main problems I think is that even though there is all this media coverage, underneath it all is still the assumption that an all-encompassing black robe is "authentic Islamic dress" whereas we 'modern stylish hijabis' are somehow promoting a fake, watered down version in the name of 'integration' and 'fitting in'. Hence why niqabs, burkas, etc. are still seen as threats of 'Islamism' and in need of banning.

The same can be said of certain Muslim magazines and websites which irresponsibly also add to this supposed dichotomy between the pious, abaya-and-niqab wearing Muslimah and her less religiously inclined tunic-and-jeans couterpart. It's sickening yet constantly certain members of the Muslim community will brandish any Muslimah who doesn't dress in their 'uniform' as being ignorant of 'true' Islamic teachings regards dress, of being materialistic, and only caring about the 'dunya', etc. When Muslims themselves are spreading these ideas, is it then really any surprise that the media is too?

The idea a lot of us are trying to get across is simple; that hijab and Islamic dress are timeless and are not restricted to one culture or one prescribed style.

The only hijab article I ever felt 100% comfortable with was the one I wrote for the Guardian myself; and that's probably why. No sensationalism, no lazy journalists with cheap headlines.

On the blog I also make an effort to stay away from both the politics of hijab and self-righteous preaching; at the end of day we already get enough from outside the community and within it.

P.s. I really cannot stand the word 'hijabistas'...who calls themselves that anyway?"

I'd love to hear from you too; what do you think about the way the media discusses Muslim women's clothing?

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