Last year, I got a call from a young cousin who informed me, with sheer glee, that the new One Direction music video featured a young Muslim in hijab. Those few seconds in the video that highlighted a giddy, veiled teenager were a breakthrough for young identifiable Muslimahs in the world.
I think this meant that I was supposed to embrace the boy band that I had successfully been trying to avoid. I must admit I checked out the video. OK, I can’t lie. I watched it on repeat about ten times. (It’s a catchy song). And yes, from 1:20 to 1:23 in the video may seem like young eager Muslimah pop fans have been well represented. No inferences of weakness, oppression and need of immediate liberation. There isn’t race. There isn’t creed. There isn’t blatant stereotyping of women; there is just 1D fangirling – which unites us all.
Normally, Muslim women are depicted as wearing hijab. That is first and foremost the most identifying factor – albeit inaccurate – of a Muslimah.
One of the first videos I could recall featuring a variety of Muslim women (both veiled and unveiled) was about four years ago from Outlandish. The song was a cover of Cheb Khaled’s ‘Aicha’. It depicted different women of colour: some covered, some not. Just going about their lives, working, walking and nodding their heads. Mostly smiling. No rage. [Read more...]