The latest trend I never saw coming is the complete glorification of the hijab and its rebranding in America. The hijab is getting a media makeover! You might think it's not a big deal. I do. I believe there is a coup afoot.
A hijab is a scarf that Muslim women wear to cover their heads, more specifically, their hair. In my search to understand the age-old question of whether to hijab or not to hijab, I found the following.
I came across amazing women that, oddly enough, aren’t present in mainstream media. It’s interesting to me that these hijabed women are marketed as being powerful women. For most women, however, the choice to wear a hijab is, in fact, not a choice at all. Wearing one is compulsory in many societies and religious communities.
Samina Ali gave a Tedx Talk about how the “resurgence of the hijab along with various countries’ enforcement of it has led many to believe that Muslim women are required by faith to wear the hijab.” Her talk was factual and it surprised me. She spoke about what the Quran really says about the hijab. Because of this video, I now see hijabs in a different way.
I have even noticed hijabs on the runways, donned by women with long skin-covering outfits. I believe the fashion industry is up to its chinny chin chins in this political coup. Take a look at the next season’s fashions. The industry will design what it is told to market. The long flowing tunics are what’s hot. The rebel in me is already eyeing up some classically eternal designs from decades past. What ever happened to the pencil skirt, or a great pair of jeans? No matter how beautiful these long elegant outfits are, I know their point of origin. I recognize the agenda. I see the narrative for what it is, and I personally just can’t let this bird dog run. This “dog is being wagged by the tail.”
I have a huge question for the “hijabis” out there, a term that many hijab-wearing women on YouTube refer to themselves as. (It’s like a club. Look up “My Hijab Story” on YouTube. There are a ton of them.) Something is going on. These women are video blogging about what It’s like to wear a hijab every day. My question for them, regarding the women from the 1920’s to the 70’s in the Middle East, is how was it ok then to be uncovered and now it’s not? Were they less devout? Were they less modest? How come they weren’t beaten senseless or killed? I ask this because the hijab is on the way, with the help of liberal Hollywood, to be hipper than hip. Really? Lindsay Lohan wore a burkini? Gaga sports a hijab? It wasn’t that long ago Gaga and Madonna had the Kabbala string on their wrists. I am thinking that to the hundreds of thousands and some say over a million and a half women in Iran alone, who have been beaten, drug thru the streets, spit on, hauled off to jail and honor killed for taking off their hijab. It’s not real hip to be a “hijabi.”
The complete opposite of this hijab movement is “My Stealthy Freedom,” an online movement that opposes the hijab movement. #MyStealthyFreedom was started by Masih Alinejad, an Iranian journalist and activist that runs a Facebook group. I have been following this group since 2014. They dare to post pictures of themselves without their hijabs. It’s quite beautiful to bear witness too. These women take pictures of themselves as they take off this symbol of oppression. They are appealing to us, the people of the world, politicians and celebrities to refrain from drinking the Kool-Aid.
There is a rap song called ‘Hijabie’ by Mona Haydar (Wrap My Hijab). The lead singer is not only pregnant but wears pants! Remember when the first Muslim Mayor of a city in England banned pants on women who were going to pray in the Mosque? This was his very first week in office. I face-palmed when I read that because I knew it was beginning. Their first response to people asking about the rebellious nature of the video being brought up is to compare it to American culture, not Muslim culture. Unlike in “New American Standard Version of Muslim Life” countries where Sharia law is enforced, these women would not be beaten down, jailed, and or killed for doing this in America. This is as homogenized with America as it gets. A look at the comment section regarding “Hijabi” reveals proof the video didn’t go over very well within the Muslim community.
There is a push to make the hijab not just accepted but to be considered sexy, mysterious, exotic and morally superior. Not long ago Alicia Keys posted a photo of a woman wearing an even more conservative take on the hijab known as a niqab. The sexy photo showed a long leg. It was sizzlin’. This brought a massive negative response from the Muslim community and Keys soon deleted it.
This is a ploy to the American people. A brand that has been rebranded. This wouldn’t work in Iran, Middle Eastern countries or anywhere in Europe today. In America, as long as one puts a lil’ sparkle on it, uploads it to YouTube… it’s ON! Because it’s all about choice now, right?
I will leave you with singer Helly Luv, who has made it on the Islamic State’s hit list. Mainstream media keeps her out of America, but of course, I’ll share her in a video below. She has a song very aptly called ‘Revolution.’
Breathing deep with you, and still learning… J.D. Jackson