A Blog from Amman, Jordan, Online Since 2004.


I thought this little video that discusses hijab with several young East Asian Muslims is really interesting. They have a lot of the prevalent stereotypes; the fashionista, the extremist, the “cool believer”, and the one who seriously believes in it completely out of her own conviction.
I guess I’m posting this after a documentary on MBC called “Awdat Al-Hijab” (The Return of Hijab).



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  1. Salam,

    Great Video , thanks Ruba.
    If it shows anything it breaks the generalization of Mutohajibats. Each lady with Hijab has her own identity which is great to point out.


  2. hmm, I’m not sure I ever heard of the “fashionista” being a stereotype of women who wear hijab, especially ones like that girl in the video who most people would agree is not a muhajjabeh!

  3. Omar

    I think this video shows a sample of women who choose to wear hijab. It also shows that many of them do not realize the responsibilities come with such an obligation.Some of them do not even know the proper way of wearing the hijab or the purpose of wearing it.I see this in many girls these days who ‘think’ that they are wearing it. I personally believe that hijab is not about covering the hair; it’s about desciplining the soul. I might go into this more, but l need more space. For those who are gonna critize me, plz do after thinking thoroughly about the things l’ve said first.

    Thank you Roba, good post!

  4. Nas

    the fashionista one just has to be an actress, a bad one at that.

    anyways the hijab is just another topic in islam non-muslims love to pick apart and muslims love to make a big deal about. it’s been talked about to death, never has such a simple request from God ever caused so much nonsense within the ummah. it’s as if He asked for muslims to set their hair on fire.

    personally, to each his or rather her, own. we will all be judged in front of Allah swt one day that’s for sure, and at that point whatever arguements anyone has they can take it up with Him. there are too many muslims who have trouble obeying the 5 pillars that make them muslims in the first place, let alone the dress code.

  5. That is really very interesting …

  6. Nas, Hamzeh, yes, I agree she is an actor and her part is absolutely blown over the top, but as a female who has been in discussions with MANY females over hijab, I assure you that there is a very good portion of young mhajabat who decided to wear the viel for moda. And yes, it is an over-discussed topic, but I think it’s an interesting one at that.

    Omar, yeah, I agree that this is but a sample, but I thought it was a pretty interesting sample especially as they are not Arab.

  7. what worries me is that these comments are always generalized into stereotypes… how come religion related issues are always so controversial!

  8. Great Post! Really makes you think.
    At a time when more and more women are becoming muhjabah, this movie underlines whether they/ we understand the real reasons.
    I personally think that the Quranic prescription is rather vauge but I think alot of religion is subject to personal interpretation- we should set our own boundaries.

  9. Shahirah

    The video was made by Malaysians =) I’m Malaysian and I think one of the reasons they produced that is because so many Malay girls don’t really wear the hijab or as we say it in Malay.. tudung.. with the proper dress code such as really short sleeved t-shirts, or really tight tops/jeans. And some of them don’t ‘behave’ like proper Muslim women when they are seen in public e.g. kissing and hugging their boyfriends and so on.
    So I guess they just want more Muslim women to be aware of the true purpose of wearing the hijab. It’s not just about covering your hair or culture. It affects your mind, body and soul. It’s the whole package!
    The ‘fashionista’ was definitely a character to watch. ‘What the hell? If I wanna go clubbing or swimming I’ll just take it off!’ lol
    I was talking to a Moroccan girl the other day and she was made it clear to me how she strongly feels that the hijab is oppressive but I took into account the fact that she has been living in France for a couple of years so that could be a factor why she feels that way about it, plus family background etc.. I don’t wear the hijab, but my older sister does. I personally don’t think it is oppressive at all… but it was only recently that I feel this way. When I was younger I thought that wearing the hijab was a sign of backwardness… but I have a better understanding of Islam now and through personal experiences, I completely understand why women have to dress in a non-provocative and respectful manner.
    Whoa that was a long comment! But this is a good topic and I’ve had many people ask me why some Muslim girls wear it, while some don’t. e.g. my sister and I.

  10. Shahirah

    Oh and I have to add another thing. In the Malay culture there really isn’t such a thing as ‘women only’ events/parties where women who wear the hijab can wear dresses they normally wouldn’t be able to. I guess that could be the reason why hijab-ed ‘fashionistas’ exist… cos they feel there’s no other opportunity for them to flaunt what they’ve got!
    I never knew about ‘women only’ events until I became friends with Middle Eastern girls and the truth is I love the idea of it for so many reasons such as, I can wear whatever I want.. and I’m doing it for ME, not to impress guys. I also don’t have to worry about them observing me and rating me on a scale of 1 to 10. We’re just there to have a good time and enjoy ourselves.

  11. Shahirah, thank you very much for your insights. I personally don’t know much about Islam in the South of Asia and it is fantastic to hear about it from you.
    So tell me, is the fashionista overdone in this documentary, or are there people like that?

  12. Roba
    So tell me, is the fashionista overdone in this documentary, or are there people like that?

    these people exist, some due to peer pressure, some just want to fit in.

  13. Sam Crock

    I think this looks more like a commercial ad, not a documentary or any kind of objective thing!.

  14. Shahirah

    Honestly I think the fashionista was a bit exaggerated… and perhaps it was done on purpose. I haven’t personally met anyone who’s exactly like that.

  15. abdullah

    I enjoyed watching this video, the two well covered and polite girls were the ones who won my respect and appreciation. Such women are worth to have as wives and the next generation builders.
    The other three are loosers at different levels. May Allah guide them. The fashion girl, is a lost case airhead.
    As the quran says “walamyadkhul eliman fe quloobikum”

  16. Roba, I didn’t watch the Video, but I follow with a degree of anticipation the categorizing you seem to come up with usually or quote others with a degree of acknowledgment every now and then!

    now this: “cool believer”… why is it that people -also read: practicing moslems- must be labelled in one way or another?

  17. Dear Roba
    Well in our world that subject has been very sensitive and I really don’t know why? I have been reading about it a lot in many historical books and from what I have seen is that ladies didn’t use to cover the head just the body. One of them was Sukayna bint Al-Hussein, whom was a poet and a very powerful lady back then not to mention that she is a descended from the Prophet Mohamed P.B.U.H. also reading the “Quran” I couldn’t find any verse that says that a woman should cover the hair, the verse they talk about didn’t say “Hijab” but “Jilbab” and if you search it in the “mo’jam” you will see the difference. Even “Hadeeth the Prophet P.B.U.H is week. But there is a rule in Islam “ma ajma3at 3alayeh al omaa asba7 wajeb”… we can talk about this a lot but the way I see it is very simple.

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