Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Hijabs Are Not Yet For The Hippy

Islamic fashion is an issue, a legitimate one.

Two years ago, it was a matter of beachwear.

Now, it's the hijab. Seems that there are

multiple shades of the hijab

And what is the problem with that?

...Mona Abaza, a sociology professor at the American University in Cairo, believes the hijab has transformed itself from a symbol of piety into a cultural mechanism, a political statement, and finally, a fashion trend. "Like any other religious symbol, hijab has taken multiple meanings through time," she said.

for example

...Egypt continued to witness a steady growth of religiosity in general due to the efforts of the more moderate Islamist grass-roots organizations. As a result, more women began to wear the veil.

But there's a down side:

...As more teenagers and fashion-conscious women from upper middle class backgrounds don the hijab, store managers are experimenting with fashionable scarf styles, tying techniques, and designs in a bid to win over consumers.

...Many women have picked up on the hijab-chic trend and started grooming businesses where veiled women can have their scarves arranged for different occasions - from graduation parties to weddings.

...However, in the age of reality shows about cat walks, aspiring models and the newest pop music contestant, some sociologists believe that the religiosity of the hijab is being overshadowed by its fashion appeal.

And in case you really wanted to know:

The "Spanish wrap" – a tying technique in which the headscarf is wrapped behind the neck – has become a favourite style for young veiled women.(*) Also, thanks to long-sleeved, close-fitting tops, veiled women can buy any piece of clothing, from strapless tops to backless dresses. In a society where expression of sexuality remains a taboo, Abaza believes that by adapting sexy outfits to the hijab, young women are attempting to be veiled and appealing at the same time.

But let's not go too far:-

But critics say new hijab techniques reveal the neck and sometimes a part of the chest, and therefore fail to embrace the essence of what it means to be veiled. While some consider this a deviation from the real purpose of hijab, others think that it is a tolerable expression of individuality...."Huge earrings popping out of the headscarf, odd combinations of colours, skin-tight clothes wrapped about the body are common among many veiled women today,"...recent hijab trends are due to a lack of self-confidence and identity.

Bottom line?

Abaza, however, does not believe that hijab is an inherent part of Egyptian culture, but is rather an "invented tradition". "Where was it during the 1960s? You could hardly find a single veiled woman at Cairo University during that time," she said.

Of course, there are those that don't wear a hijab:



(In case you want to know how to wear one, try this)


Anonymous said...

hi i am just wondering why you are discussing hijab if you are a jewish man? I mean no harm, but i am wondering what the point of this post is? Is it to condemn hijab, to condemn the hijabis ect?

YMedad said...

why not take it just as it is? i comment/post onn wigs for Orthodox women, on Madonna, etc. I find it intersting, fascinating, relevant.