Hipster. The word that instantly makes you think of checked shirts, flat white coffees and majorly over groomed beards.
You’ve seen them in your local market, they’ve taken over your local shop (and opened a cereal café) and they flood your Instagram feed with ‘artistic’ food photos. East London, for example, is full of them and there’s no escape.
You may have seen the video of the hijabis from America doing their thing. The video, produced by this week’s Ummahsonic podcast guest Abbas Rattani, showcases a brand new cultural group who get their inspiration from both Islam and the hipster movement. It’s all about being hip and devout at the same time.
The makers of the video call it a celebration of their daily lives. “No burqas, bombs, or other symbols ignorantly associated with the hijab on our heads.” says Layla Shaikley, who appears in the video.
“Instead, skateboards, sunshine, and good times—realities that define us as individuals. We made the video as a self-portrait.”
While it was met with mixed responses, the video features women from all walks of life; from an Olympian fencer, a Harvard student, and a lawyer, to fashionistas in high heels, skateboards, motorbikes and headscarves (that last bit is important).
With more than 100,000 views in two days, the video caught the attention of Muslims across the world in double quick time. Reactions were varied – ranging from awesome to objectifying. Some praised the video as an empowering piece that breaks all stereotypes, while others criticised it for portraying a shallow and westernised version of Muslim women.
Whether you love it or you hate it, the video succeeded in showing a bunch of intelligent, style-conscious, hijabi women opening up debate and being heard. It takes the Islamofashionista culture and throws it into yo’ face!
So can you be hip and halal in Shoreditch? The truth is, whatever you believe, no one can tell your story except you.