Tuesday, June 10, 2008

'Islamic' fashion comes to Bangladesh

Front Cover

Muhajjabah means 'one who hijabs' and hijab means 'to cover', is the new Muslim women fashion magazine launched in Bangladesh. First of its kind to promote 'Islamic' dress in the country.

Not sure how I feel about this, as a Muslimah, one would expect me to be thrilled at the prospect of promoting 'Islamicness'. I suppose my problem comes with the term and the image of hijab, it is made into solely a physical attribute. 'Hijabbing' of the innerself is just as important than the outerself in Islam but we're so obsessed with the latter that the former gets brushed to the side or rather it is not emphasised as much as I would like it to be i.e., just as equally.

Aside from that, looking at other images in the magazine it is pretty apparent that it is not just focusing on fashion but rather on the diversity of women in Bangladesh who dress differently and for differently occasions, whether that be the work place, a wedding or just casual wear - bringing to the fore the traditional saree and salwar kameez but also, the contemporary skirts, trousers and suits. It definitely identifies the needs of a whole wide spectrum of women living in Bangladesh. Although, most of the fashion are not to my taste, but then it is not aimed at me, I do commend the effort in filling a gap that perhaps needed filling and the editors for not being afraid to be "more Islamic" in a country that has often prided itself to be 'secular'.


Anonymous said...

nice post

fug said...

It is a battle out there. Its not my fault it seems to be over your bodies, but dont let that excuse us all from keeping our haya. men sold themselves down the river a long time ago.

It is very hard for deen soaked ladies in da hood in bangladesh. The arrogant yet inept secular imprinted moronarcy has regressed the people's religious power, depth, maturity, thought and political mojo.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you -- I'm not sure if I like all of it, but I'm really glad the option is there for people. As a non-hijabi muslima, it doesn't really apply to me, but having worn it before -- I would have been very happy to have something marketed towards me. It's a validation of sorts.

I think that the secularization of bangladesh kind of works for it in a sense -- at least someone who wants to be religious can do it a little more privately, without the government involved. There's more benefit.

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