Before today, I was considering writing an article about the controversy of the hijab. I was considering writing about how so many people choose to wear the hijab despite the perturbing fear of being judged by different communities and for a multitude of reasons. But I was going to do that without admitting one thing which has been central to me writing it; I don't know if I want to continue wearing the hijab.
Being a Muslim woman, society has defined my life in many different ways, but one thing I can tell you, is that out of all of those adjectives, dull certainly won't appear on that list. We are always a focal point of discussion and let's face it my presence could liven up any dismal gathering. My very being is always brought to question, as many struggle to decide whether my hijab is a symbol of empowerment or mark of oppression.
Understandably, many Muslims are welcoming these companies' moves. Why not? It is a sign that we are being acknowledged as consumerists. Companies have discovered a niche in the market from social media where hijab fashion bloggers have created a platform for themselves and are using apps, in particular Instagram, to showcase modest fashion.
The European Court of Justice has just ruled that religious symbols, such as hijabs, turbans and kippahs may be banned in the workplace. This is no less than an attack on people that practice a religion and are required to wear visible religious symbols; most of whom are ethnic minorities. It essentially legalises discrimination. And the right wing are celebrating.
Joining any religious community is fraught with culture shocks and the danger of committing unforgivable faux pas. As one of the best Muslims in the country - possibly the world - I'm in a strong position to give some pointers about what Lindsay can expect should she officially decide to join the faith.
The storm will eventually die down, InshaAllah, and by the time it does you will have gained new ideas that otherwise might not have crossed your path. It is within this perspective that I hope you will consider my reasons for entering this debate. I am writing to you not because I share your faith, but because I share your gender.
What saddened me about this whole controversy is that most of the people criticising Tagouri's interview where ones totally oblivious to the actual content, of it which had nothing to do with what Playboy is famously known for. They were fuming at the mere fact that the word 'hijabi' and 'Playboy' were being used in the same sentence.
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.