The hijab worn by Muslim women is still regarded by many as a problematic ideological symbol; thereby making many women vulnerable to discrimination, harassment, and violence. Islamophobia that is spreading in some parts of the world should be scrapped because, as a religion, Islam is the same as other dominant religions in the world; namely, one that respects differences. Would it not be boring if everyone was uniform in their beliefs?
She wasn't shown to be a zealot constantly praying or sharing words of wisdom with her fellow inmates. She read books not exclusively about Islam and even participated in a money-making scheme some of the other African-American inmates organised. She. Is. Normal. And I can't tell you how awesome it is to see a 'normal' Muslim on TV.
Yesterday saw a Twitterstorm with #TraditionallySubmissive trending. This was in response to comments made by a Downing Street adviser that the Prime Minister David Cameron thinks that Muslim women are traditionally submissive. It got Twitter going. It was good to see people reacting to this, both, Muslim and non-Muslim. There were some really funny tweets, which proved that submissive or not, Muslim women do have a very good sense of humour.
A long time ago, my father taught me that there is one identity that surpasses all others - the human identity. Both, in terms of us as individuals, and in terms of how we relate to one another as one people. If there is to be any leading British value, it should be the freedom to express that identity in the way we choose.
With Londoner Mariah Idrissi featured in a hijab on the H&M 'close the loop' recycling campaign video, it seems that everyone wants the Muslim fashionistas. Marketers have woken up to Ramadan as a potential parallel to Christmas - another festival that can be commercialised once brands realise that Muslim women often buy new clothes to wear or to gift at holiday time.