How the hijab – and H&M – are reshaping mainstream British culture

Muslim women in hijabs are becoming increasingly visible in the public domain, whether appearing in EastEnders, Android ads, or The Great British Bake Off. Twenty years ago, when I began wearing my headscarf, “hijabis” were a rare sight, but now this contentious yet innocuous piece of cloth is shaping the face of mainstream pop culture.

The latest move comes from within the world of fashion, with global clothing giant H&M featuring its first ever Muslim model in a hijab. Mariah Idrissi, a 23-year-old who lives in London, stars in the 30-second video, alongside a boxer with a prosthetic leg, a man in drag, and a guy wearing socks with sandals – all united under the avowal: “There are no rules in fashion.”

H&M has been largely applauded on social media, with one non-Muslim woman tweeting that she was “so happy that the gorgeous hijab-wearing fashionistas are being represented by a global brand”. [2075 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT 609 votes] I’m a liberal but I just can’t force myself to celebrate that a particular brand of organised religion is becoming increasingly relevant in our day to day lives. I just can’t. I’m sorry.

[2ND 592] “striving to be part of – brace yourselves – a diverse, multi-faceted, thriving society.”

There’s nothing diverse or multi-faceted about the hijab.

[3RD 519] …. Any society that sees the hijab as normalized and part of its culture is not a society I want to raise my children in. Medievalism in the form of mass delusion is not a cause for celebration.

[4TH 516] Odd that you’re so excited by the sight of women in shrouds, as many feel the exact opposite when they see them.

Personally, I cannot stand the sight of them, and think the increase of women wearing these should be met with despair. Like other religious symbolism, as soon as I see a hijab I think ‘this person actually believes there’s a man in the sky, who demands that this African Great Ape wrap it’s head in a shroud, for fear of turning on male apes, and is proud to wear this delusion in public’.

Medievalism is not a cause for celebration

[5TH 506] Vive la France!

[6TH 490] Each to their own and all that but only 15 years or so the hijab was hardly worn by Muslim women and girls yet now it seems uniform. [Guardian Cif] Read more

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