Can Muslim women be hipsters too?
That’s the dilemma a group of fly, smart women who happen to be Muslim are trying to confront with a new video set to Jay Z’s “Somewhere In America,” which documents the unique interests and style that would typically be used to describe the new urban archetype.
But in their high heels, skateboards and hijabs, these women, self-proclaimed “Mipsterz,” are on a mission to spark a larger conversation about what it means to be a Muslim woman in America.
A Mipster is someone who seeks inspiration from the Islamic tradition of divine scriptures, volumes of knowledge, mystical poets, bold prophets, inspirational politicians, esoteric Imams, and our fellow human beings searching for transcendental states of consciousness. A Mipster is an ironic identity, one that serves more as a perpetual critique of oneself and of society.
And spark they did. The video has garnered mixed reactions, some applaud, while others find it problematic.
Sana Saeed, senior editor at the Islamic Monthly, had this to say:
I, like many Muslim men and, more importantly, women, feel really uneasy about a video released yesterday by the group (movement? cultural tour de force?) Mipsterz – Muslim Hipsters. The video, set to Jay Z’s Somewhere in America, features well produced shots of stylin’ hijab clad women strutting their cool in and around random urban areas. Aesthetically, it’s really hip, smooth, fierce and, for all intents and purposes, cool.
But that’s about it…
The process of creating ‘normal’ is also stripping us, especially women, away from central parts of our faith. The Mipsterz video is hard to stomach for so many because it throws the increasing Islamofashionista culture into your face. Catwalk ready, catwalk strut and catwalk ‘tude seem so antithetical to what we know and expect, sometimes zealously, as Islamic modesty. This isn’t about policing what we wear and how or about casting judgment, but about the sort of culture we’re creating for Muslim women’s dress that is no diferrent than the images and lifestyles sans hijab we criticize. The superficial culture we critique and claim is why we wear hijab is becoming our hijab.
While others felt differently:
But even with all the praise and criticism, it is doing one thing…starting a much-needed conversation. How do you feel about the video? Sound off below.
For more information about Mipsterz, visit their Facebook page.
SOURCE: Facebook, Twitter, Islamic Monthly