Those “Jesus is My Homeboy” T-shirts had their moment. Now taking the spotlight in hip/ironic religious wear (who knew such a market existed?) is a company called Styleislam, which produces tees, hoodies, and jackets meant to spread positive promotion of Islam. Conceived as a way to peacefully combat anti-Muslim sentiments, the company’s statement explains that the designs and slogans—like “Muslim by Nature,” “I Love My Prophet,” and “Mini Muslim”—are “not only funky, they also have content. We communicate Islam in a language young people can understand, without sacrificing our values in the process.” While many of Styleislam’s fashions tend to show a lighthearted and cheeky side, others push more serious agendas. One women’s shirt reads in a powerful font, “Hijab: My Right, My Choice, My Life.” Keep reading »
While celebs were drinking champagne at the tents and showing up pants-less to the shows during New York Fashion Week, something more political (but no less glam) was going on in Pakistan.
Just wrapping up its first government-approved Fashion Week, the event aimed to give the country a new image. This is a significant step towards adopting more liberal attitudes towards fashion, a word that one journalist says wasn’t even allowed in the Pakistani vocabulary. “Ten years ago we weren’t allowed to say the word ‘fashion,’” she explains. “We had to go for a ‘cultural event’ with clothes.” Even though 80 percent of Pakistani women wear a veil, the event is forging change by presenting women with options. Keep reading »
When Muammar Gaddafi went to speak at the U.N. General Assembly in September, he drew controversy — he was protested, shut out of local housing, and his nearly two-hour speech was disparaged in the news. But the Libyan leader may have found a new way to speak his message to the people.
While attending a U.N. global food summit in Rome, Gaddafi reportedly brought some 200 women to a local villa, where he lectured them for two hours about his country and women’s roles in the Islamic faith. Keep reading »
Beyonce has postponed an Oct. 25 performance in Malaysia after Muslim conservatives in that country accused her show of being “immoral.” The Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party, Malaysia’s largest opposition group, has called for the cancellation of the show because they say it would promote “Western sexy performances.” A statement released by Marctensia entertainment company says the decision to postpone was made solely by Beyonce. In 2007, she canceled a planned performance after protest threats from the Islamic opposition party, but said at the time it was a result of scheduling conflicts. Female performers in Malaysia are required by law to cover up from the shoulders to the knees, without any visible cleavage. And, last month, Marctensia said Beyonce and others involved had “come to an amicable understanding” about her performance costumes. (But the postponement suggests this wasn’t true.) If the problem here is Beyonce’s bedazzled leotards, we can’t wait to see the more conservative, body-covering versions she comes up with. Can Sasha be Fierce without showing off her legs, booty, and cleavage? Keep reading »
In 2007, Beyoncéwas forced to cancel a concert in Malaysia, a predominantly Muslim country, because the fundamentalist Pan Malaysian Islamic Party is “against western entertainment that promotes hedonism.” Now that she’s scheduled to play there on October 25, uber-religious folks are up in arms again and working hard to get her banned. See, in Malaysia, performers are supposed to wear very P.C. clothes and cover themselves from chest to knees. They aren’t allowed to jump, shout, hug or kiss onstage. In other words, fun is not to be had. [AP via Yahoo]
Beyoncé isn’t the only performer who’s drawn the ire of religious countries. Here are five other stars who’ve been banned from countries or came close to it. Keep reading »
There are many reasons why women look for cosmetics without this or that—maybe they’re vegans or maybe they’re very eco-conscious. Another reason? Religion.
For Muslim women, there’s apparently been a gap in the market, due to the lack of non-halal makeup. (Halal refers to the law forbidding, among other things, certain pork and animal products and alcohol.) That said, many Arab women already wear makeup — lots of it. We’re guessing that, perhaps, they’re not all so strict about conforming to Islamic law. Keep reading »
While three sister wives may seem like one big, happy family on Big Love, try having 86! Mohammed Bello Abubakar, an 84-year-old Muslim preacher in Nigeria, has married more women than years he’s been alive and most of his wives are, surprisingly, in their twenties. Can you imagine trying to feed the 170 children he’s fathered?! Neither he nor his wives work, but they somehow manage to pay for the $915 (26.5 lbs) worth of rice they consume each day. Needless to say, the Islamic Authorities in his home state consider him a cult leader, but he fancies himself a shaman who doesn’t believe in modern medicine. Abubakar credits his healing powers with his ability to attract so many women. He told the BBC, “I don’t go looking for them, they come to me. I will consider the fact that God has asked me to do it and I will just marry them… That is why I have been able to control 86 of them.” Um, what a romantic? [BBC] Keep reading »