And some more!

Fellow hijabi blogger Jana at Hijab Style, and myself were mentioned once again, today in The Star.

`Muslimahs’ are more adventurous than ever with their hijabs.
Toronto Star

Toronto Star

As fall’s oversized fashion bibles begin landing on magazine stands with a thud, a major trend will be conspicuously absent.

And that’s fine by Jana Kossaibati, a 19-year-old medical student in London, whose new blog, Hijab Style, is filling the void for Muslim women around the world. Billed as Britain’s first style guide for “Muslimahs,” the site has inspired knockoffs and is proving to be an invaluable resource for fashionistas who are becoming more adventurous than ever with their hijabs.

“Forget London, Paris or New York, the Arab Gulf is where glamorous hijab is at,” Kossaibati writes in a post about her favourite headscarf style. “And boy do those Khaleeji girls know how to rock their shaylas.”

Adopting and adapting hijab styles from all over the Muslim world is a relatively new tradition. For centuries, Muslims typically wore a headscarf reflective of their heritage. Today, while most older women still do, that custom is fading.

Kossaibati’s fashion views, which were aired in an article in the British daily The Guardian this week, have caused a stir among readers who have since flocked to her blog.

“Some people, both Muslim and non-Muslim seem to find the notion of `hijab fashion’ (and my blog is about style for goodness sake, not fashion), a contradictory concept,” she writes on her blog.

“Apparently, modesty dictates that you look as `blah’ as possible. Apparently, wearing hijab means you should shun all worldly notions of `style’ and `looking good'” she adds. “There is nothing wrong with having a personal sense of style. Islam does not dictate to us which colours to wear or which hijab wrap is the best.”

Blogger Imaan, a 21-year-old Norwegian Muslim who launched The Hijab blog last month, says she favours the Spanish style.

“You see it all over Cairo,” says Imaan, who didn’t want her surname published. The style, which goes on like a bandana and is tied at the back of the head, has sparked some controversy since it leaves the neck exposed. Imaan plays it both ways by sporting a turtleneck with the headscarf.

“I think it’s very good to be creative with the hijab,” she says in a telephone interview. “When my non-Muslim friends and colleagues see me, they get very excited. They want me to teach them how to tie the different styles.”

She believes experimenting with the hijab invites more positive interest in Islam from outsiders “than if you’re wrapped in a burka.”

Sobia Malik, a psychology student at York University, started experimenting with new ways to wrap her hijab after she started wearing one a few years ago. She wanted a style that would help boost her confidence and not look out of place with her fashionable Western clothes.

After a few months of trial and error in front of the mirror, she perfected a technique that has turned heads and garnered compliments from strangers.

A couple of weeks ago, she was in line for the Psyclone at Canada’s Wonderland when two young Muslim women standing behind her asked about her hijab. Malik invited the women to a public washroom and showed them, step by step, how to tie their own rectangular pashminas. When the lesson ended, Malik said the girls were surprised at how easy and comfortable it was.

Malik, who buys her scarves from H&M, Costa Blanca and Suzy Shier, said she doesn’t know if the style has a name.

“I call it `My Way.'”

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25 thoughts on “And some more!

  1. Jana says:

    Ooh my goodness it’s out already hehe, they hadn’t sent me the links yet! Can’t believe they quoted so much, lol, girl we are going places with our hijabs!

  2. basbousa says:

    Yeah!!

  3. raquelevita says:

    AWESOME GIRLS!!! Alhamdulillah! Congratulations. One of the things I realize as I type this is that the additional attention to your blog will also bring more attention to the other issues you write about too. For example, more people need to see *Muslim women* speaking out about things like the latest threats against women’s safety in Pakistan. This is truly a blessing.

    Oh and by the way – a friend and I needed to run out on an errand last night, and so I spent a little time in front of the mirror experimenting with the now-famous ‘Spanish’ style. I did it a bit differently to suit me, but come up with some variations (including one where one of the four pieces covered my neck). It looks fabulous! My friend, who is not a Muslim, loved it. 😀

    Congratulations again and thank you for your blogging, ladies.

  4. basbousa says:

    Miss R, thank you habibty! How did the chihuahua hijab turn out????

  5. raquelevita says:

    LOL! 😉 Mashallah, no chihuahua at all. I did two different ones – one was orange and blue, very nice mashallah! The second was burgundy and black – that was a little crazy from the back until I experimented. Then it was actually kind of glamorous :). I didn’t do the one with the frou-frou in the back yet. That will be my next try! (Baby steps, baby steps …)

  6. basbousa says:

    Great!!!! Post some pictures, then!!!! I wanna see how you did!

  7. sayma says:

    Whatever man!!!!!!! Let people say what they want, Alhamdulillah you guys are doing an awesome job! Oh well, more publicity for you guys lol!

  8. Annisa says:

    salam
    nice blog,i’ll add you to my favorites inshaallah
    visit my blog
    salam annisa

  9. Alix says:

    Mabruk girls!!!!! Congratulations.

  10. Alix says:

    Masha’Allah.

  11. Alix says:

    LOL You can tell I am a convert/revert because my arabic is not rapid-fire

  12. Leila says:

    🙂 we are proud of you, girls!!! many many salaams from Bosnia! 🙂

  13. sayma says:

    mashuallah, but that sister is so pretty..am trying to figure out how she wore her hijab? Its really neat.. & congrats guys!

  14. […] or be disfigured Good news: Congratulations to The Hijab Blog and Hijab Style on their feature story in the Toronto Star. I’m excited about the additional coverage being given to women who are pushing the envelope. […]

  15. No Dhimmi says:

    Oh please. This is not cute. It only encourages the Muslim psychos. Please stop being Muslim idiots.

    God does not care at all whether or not you cover your hair. How egotistical to think that God is fascinated with your hair. This stupid “fashion” was created by DEMENTED MEN, and you are going along with it.

    How disgusting.

  16. basbousa says:

    No Dhimmi, I’m sorry for your ignorance. “Muslim idiots”… One can only laugh of such responses. I’m sorry, but your comment is *embarassing*, it doesn’t need any other answer than that.’

    And to the rest of you girls, thank you so much for all the support!

  17. This is getting to be too cool! I live for the day when hijab and modest dress are no longer feared and looked upon as dangerous extremism!! With all of this press coverage there’s no way people can stay locked into the “She has a headscarf so she’s a terrorist” mindset! (Or the dumb Feminist-think of France.) I also live for the day when more and more women will throw away the “bare it all” mindset and adopt hijab ~ which is something beautiful and *universal* and not just for Muslims! And it’s not about oppression either! I hope that God works through this media exposure to help women see that modesty is beautifully ordained by God and is meant to protect and honor women while flashing our body parts for the entire world to leer at most certainly is NOT. I can’t help but see God’s hand at work here… there’s a *reason* you and your fellow hijab bloggers are hitting the spotlight!

  18. No Dihimmi either doesn’t know, or is purposefully ignoring the fact, that head covering has always been universal amongst women of all faiths and cultures until the recent, and sickening, “sexual revolution” of the 1960’s that reduced women to nothing more then mere objects.

    The head covering was not invented by Muslims ~ head covering existed even before Judaism, Christianity, and Islam! This is why the Catholic Church calls it an “immemorial custom” and it cannot be changed ~ women are still expected to cover their heads because this is how it has always been. To not cover your head goes against at least 10,000 years of wise custom. Hmmm. So… forgive us if we would rather follow 10,000 years of womanly wisdom vs. 40 years of secular rebellion!

    You’re right No Dihimmi, God doesn’t give a woop about our hair – but lustful men sure do! Women’s hair can set a man off like wildfire and we women are just as guilty for tempting a man to lust as a lustful man is for falling in to lust. If we love our neighbors as we love ourselves then we have a duty to protect our neighbor from the temptation to lust. But in today’s secular pop-culture society we are told to NOT care about anyone else but ourselves. THAT was deffinately invented by idiots!!!

    A headscarf and modest clothes protects us women from the unwelcome lustful leers of men. It also protects us from only being judged by our looks ~ you know, good old-fashioned SEXUAL OBJECTIFICATION. *That* is what is truly opressive to women!! And anyone that says to a woman that she must discard the headscarf is showing to the world that he/she desires nothing good for that woman and that they think women should be nothing more then dishonored objects, like a slab of meat in a meat market. No thanks! I’m a daughter of God and as such I deserve better then to be a worthless object!! This sexual objectification of women in today’s modern culture was deffinately invented by idtiots, by seriously demented men and women who have obviously lost the plot when it comes to the nobility of women ~ who were created by God, for God, and no one else!

    Modesty sets a woman free from the opression of constantly trying to look “good enough” and perform well enough so as to be acceptable to society. Women were not created to live as if they are on stage performing like trained monkeys before the world!! We are created to love and to serve God and NO ONE ELSE. Modesty affords us the right to get off of that world stage and live dignified and honorable lives.

    Those women whom I know that dress modestly and live modestly are much more at peace and full of joy then those who run around desparately trying to fit in with the latest “bare it all” fashion trends and behaviors. No matter what anyone says otherwise, the proof is in the pudding! I’ll take modesty any day and thus spare myself the misery of trying to define my self-worth based on the fickle, judgemental, shallow secular world. **Shudder** no thanks! I choose God!

  19. Bigshaker says:

    Michelle Therese, it could not be more obviously false that headscarves have been universal in all faiths and cultures for 10,000 years until the 1960’s, just as it is patently false that the Catholic Church still expects women to cover their heads because “that is the way it has always been.” It is also incorrect and even offensive to state that men are driven wild by the sight of women’s hair and cannot control themselves (sadly, however, there are places in the world in which women are blamed for men’s lustful actions while men themselves are not expected to exhibit any self-control). It is also incorrect to say that covering your hair will prevent lustful leers or unwarranted sexual attention from men; anyone familiar with Saudi Arabia, for example, will confirm not only that the rigid gender segregation and bundling up of women there only create sexual obsession, but also that sexual assault is rampant.

    If you take great pride in your modesty, more power to you. I am certainly not going to defend the worst excesses of Western culture or the sexual objectification of women in ANY culture. However, your suggestion is that there is no middle ground – it’s either the headscarf or a woman is desperate, shallow, promiscuous and immoral. In fact, there are plenty of modest women in the West who do not wear the headscarf, but who pride themselves on their appearance and independence and freedom of choice – just as there are plenty of men in the West who respect them for that and who are perfectly capable of controlling themselves even around women who ARE shallow, promiscuous and immoral.

  20. basbousa says:

    Bigshaker, headscarves have been used in older cultures for higher class women. However i agree with you when you say that it’s incorrect that “men are driven wild by the sight of women’s hair”. I think if you dress modestly, the headcover shouldn’t make any difference on men.

    I wear hijab for my religion, not for men. I feel like it’s bringing me one step closer to God, because of the “responsibillities” that comes with it. But the hijab alone doesn’t make anyone better persons.

  21. Alix says:

    Hijab (the headscarf) for muslim women doesn’t do one thing for men but let them know we are Muslim. Our loose fitting clothing though does help on the sexual front. Hijab DOES remind a sister that she is a walking example of Islam so she better be a good one.

  22. Bigshaker, your reply to my comments is filled with emotion but there’s not much in the way of qualifications for your statments. Have you ever heard of an “Immemorial custom”? If so, can you explain it to me? Can you cite the Cannon Law(s) where it *explicitly* states that Catholic women are not expected to cover their heads at Mass any longer?

    Sexual assault exists in over-abundance here in the West with gender integration and prostitute-like dress. I know more women that have been raped/assaulted/harassed then those who have not. It is everywhere! Dressing modestly might not totally prevent rape and sexual harassment but it sure does help quite a bit ~ except in Egypt, it seems. (Ugh…)

    No one can deny that having your breasts and thighs on display is an open invitation to for men to have themselves a look – and maybe a grab. What else do women expect when they send all of the signs that say, “Have me! I’m for free!” I’m sick and tired of women blaming the men for reacting to their blatant immodesty. Like my mother used to say, “If you’re only selling milk, don’t hang out the booze sign!” yeah, rape is wrong and the man that does it needs to be prosecuted but let’s face it, it’s high time for WOMEN to take some serious responsibility for the message that *they* are sending to men via their bare-it-all mode of dress. I don’t care if saying so “offends” you ~ “Being offended” is the national past time these days! All that it has become is a bully tactic that is used to shut people up when they don’t act like a sheep and follow the status quo. Women are just as much at fault for leading men into lust via immodest dress. Rape is a sin – and so is the act of willingly leading men into lust! It’s time for women to toe the line and return to serving God and not themselves.

    I never claimed that unless a woman wears a head scarf she is “desparate, shallow, promiscuous, and immoral” so please refrain from putting words in my mouth. However, I do stand firmly by my opinion that placing a woman’s body on display for men to leer at is most deffinately *sexual objectification* and I do not support this in any way, shape, or form. It is WRONG. It is an offense against God as well as the woman. Modest dress protects a woman from such undignity.

    Did you note that in my comment I said “lustful men” or “demented men” and not “all men”? You find it offensive that I state that lustful men are driven wild by hair. Well, quit being so sensative and face reality! I firmly stand by my opinion that covering your hair will deffinately help reduce the unwanted attentions of some lustful men. I’ve never stated that head-covering will stop *all* men *all* of the time from falling into lust but a mere re-reading of my comments will show this to you.

    Men are deffinately driven wild by the sight of long, flowing hair. I’ve experienced my fair share of leering and lustful flirting while out in public with my hair down. As a matter of fact, I wear my hair up so that I can avoid it because it has become downright frustrating, especially when the men are flirting with me right in front of their own women!! Or worse yet, TOUCHING my hair!!!! As per my own experiences and observations I must protest that *you*, Bigshaker, are the one that stands incorrect in this matter.

    A few questions in regards to head-covering: Why else do you think that women have covered their hair for *thousands* of years? Just for kicks? Why do you think that the Jewish, Catholic, and Muslim faiths teach women to cover their hair? Just so that they can boss women around and lord oppressive power over them or… to help protect them from lustful men? If you don’t like the fact that nasty, lustful, out-of-control men exist in our world then I’m sorry – but don’t expect me to live in some kind of happy little fantasy land where rape and sexual harassment does not exist. It exists ~ and it is perpetuated by out-of-control lustful evil men. Who else would do such hideous things to women? Good men? Men that are in control of their lusts? I don’t think so. I’m not going to deny that bad men exist simply because by acknowledging their existence it “offends” you or anyone else.

    Also, just look at art and history ~ headcovering is indeed immemorial! History doesn’t lie. Female headcoverings have been a part of human civilization for thousands of years. The cultural revolt of the 1960’s changed this drastically in our Western society. If you don’t want to acknowledge this, then have at it! But don’t expect me to live in mute denial of reality because my speaking the truth might offend your sensabilities. The truth is the truth and our culture has changed *for the worse* ever since the Cultural and Sexual Revolution (rebellion!) of the 1960’s. It is up to women everywhere in the West to reclaim what the rebellious women of the 60’s threw out of the window – and in so doing, opened the door wide for the secular, God-hating, sex-obsessed society of today. You can’t even watch a simple TV commercial witout being bombarded with soft porn! Enough is enough and I for one am happy to see modesty showing up on the fashion runways. It’s time for the lid to be returned to Pandora’s Box.

  23. Sobia Malik says:

    Hey!!
    I am Sobia Malik, the girl in the Toronto Star Article!
    It’s amazing and refreshing to see how hijabis have begun to take a stand in what we believe and not let negativity from others to bring us down. The key it to unite and fight this fight together. With this article, and some others that i have done regarding the hijab, my goal was to allow all young girls to openly embrace the hijab, and not think of it as something they “have” to do, rather something they willingly commit to. It’s important for young Muslim girls to have other Muslim women role-models to look up to rather than the media-frenzy so-called “role-models” our society throws out at us from every angle.
    All the Best!

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