Monday, 23 June 2008

Miss Headscarf 2008

In May 2008, Danmarks Radio's youth club, 'Skum' announced a competition entitled 'Miss Headscarf 2008'. They aimed to show the 'cool Muslim women' who 'often make up a very fashion-conscious and style-confident part of the Danish street scene'. But the competition was open to both Muslims and non-Muslims, the only condition being they were over 15 and were wearing a headscarf - read the FAQs for more information about the competition. You can also see pictures of all the entrants here.

The winner was announced earlier this month by judges including fashion expert Uffe Buchhardt. 18-year-old Huda Falah was chosen because of the bright blue colour of her headscarf. This clip shows a short interview with Huda:

Although the aim of this competition was to get women's voices heard, many Muslims in Denmark protested against it:

"The whole point of the headscarf is that it's a symbol of chastity," said spokeswoman Bettina Meisner. "We don't wish young women to expose themselves as objects."

Read the rest here. This video from the BBC also discusses the issue.

But Muslims weren't the only ones who had a problem with the competition. Several political figures claimed that it 'glorified the wearing of a garment considered oppressive by many women'. (Wonder who they asked?)

I admire the organisers of the competition for aiming to rid people of the misconceptions surrounding the hijab, and allowing young Muslimahs to speak for themselves. As the organisers said, this was a fashion competition, not a beauty pageant. The focus was on the garment itself, rather than the wearer's looks. I don't think that it demeans the hijab, and many Muslims in Denmark seem to have missed the point of it entirely. Surely considering the political tensions in Denmark following the cartoon controversy, showing Muslims in a positive light should be welcomed? Saying that however, I don't think that this competition will have changed the minds of people who are dead-set against it. Those calling for a ban will not stop doing so, but perhaps this could help influence the opinions of the general Danish public?

What did you think of Miss Headscarf 2008?


Oum said...

Pretty amira hijab! I love the ones with beads!

Anonymous said...

Very inspiring and beautiful mashAllah!!!

Anonymous said...

Some of the girls are wearing very tight and revealing cloths. Seems a bit of a contradiction to me. Am I the only one who is slightly disturbed when you see girls with the headscarf with revealing clothes? I have only just started wearing the scarf and do struggle at times to decide weather it is appropriate to wear certain clothes or not. And I know im not one to judge...what do you guys think?

Medinah said...

well the girl i see, her clothing is perfectly fine and some sisters wear revealing clothes but cover it with the hijab (like me, i only mean the neckline) but when a piece of my skin starts to show. i cover it back so people wont see

Oum said...

I usually use a undersscarf under my hijab so if my hijab blows my skin wont show. I use the amira hijabs under a bigger scarf thats perfect.(its not too hot , you get used to it) We really should be careful to show our skin. I recomned good amira hijabs to use under or bigger hijabs so that they cover well. take care all sisters!

Jamerican Muslimah said...

I think it's a novel idea. I don't see the problem. I like the sister's diamond analogy. I actually said that to someone not long ago. And here I thought my words were original, lol.

I also like the fact that this competition includes Muslim and non-Muslim women who wear a scarf.

Anonymous said...

My feeling is that the more women are seen covering the more familiar it becomes, the more it enters into the emotional landscape of the culture. To cover one's head in the West is to make a strong statement whether one chooses to cover as a traditional hijabi or to simply cover one's hair. Even wearing modest clothing and covering one's head but not the neck is in stark contrast to the norm in this culture. This is perhaps the level of visibility that some women are comfortable with.

So when I see the media depicting women covering in a way that is accessible to the mainstream I feel this is an important step towards making hijab a regular part of what we see day to day. I also feel strongly that it's so important in our culture to see women dressed modestly with heads covered in contrast to what is the norm here.

Aisha La Estudiante said...

What a cute idea, I can't see the video at this time (no video streaming at work). I think we should be understanding with people and their use of hijab. If someone is wearing jeans that seem too tight, or not covering the neck and ears... so often we pull out our "hijabi police" badge and get to ticketing. Perhaps by leading by example and supporting those of us who are new to hijab, or still figuring thins out we can be better supportive to our sisters. It is wonderful to see more hijabis and women who cover; the more of us there are... the easier sisters in the future will have it Insha'Allah. Especially in places like Denmark which seem to think banning a type of clothing will "free" us.
You go sister!

Anonymous said...

I think its a great idea, inspriational to young muslim girls and older women too. Perhaps we should have a Ms.Muslimah contest where the emphasis isn't only on fashion be other attributes as well such as talent and community service...just a thought

Hijabi Apprentice said...

What an inspiring idea. Masha Allah the sister is beautiful.

Scarf Ace said...

i agree with the last few comments. its good to see the headscarf in a positive light.

Anonymous said...

this is what my teacher from the masjid told me... she's an alima from syria...
"hijab isn't to hide women, it's the flag of our religion. hijab isn't just covering up our body, that's OUTTER hijab. The most important is the inner hijab which rules our life."
she also mentioned that many people are under the minsonception that hijab is meant to keep women hidden and blah blah blah. I think she had a point there. cuz if it's meant to keep us hidden, why do we get more attention? why is it a person in normal clothes, loose, no make up, modest (but not with hijab) gets less attention than a person with the same style, but WITH hijab? i don't think it's because of the media. it's because it stands out. The MEDIA only makes them think... we're terrorists or watever. but hey, if you gave 'em a nice big smile, all wrong impressions would be removed at once ;) :P .. cuz a person with a huge, genuine smile cannt possibly be rude.. dontcha think...

and hell yah we're precious... more precious than dimonds!! people sell diamonds..

Anonymous said...

I hate any analogy that compares women to inanimate objects. I find it demeaning.
Besides that I think this is a real good thing. Their intentions are really great, and i think more good will come of it then harm, though i definitely understand the concern ppl have of this perhaps objectifying women or at least encouraging materialism and vanity. I think thats a minor issue. Ultimately this is great and I'm really impressed with skum (?) for their open-mindedness and efforts to break down barriers in the danish community. very cool.

Anonymous said...

I don't like the idea. There are various issues because ultimately it is about having your cake and eat it too.

When the headscarf (not hijab as hijab does not mean headscarf even if the vocabulary of modern times have been changed in order to fit in the desired current prevailing point of view) is paraded as a fashion statement it becomes just that.

I also find the view of Bettina Meisner offensive towards essentially all females and factually incorrect. She might as well start claiming headscarves prevent rapes.

To say that headscarf or covering your hair is a sign of chastity is saying that those who don't wear it, despite being full redblooded muslims, are not chaste nor do they guard their bodies. Clearly offensive.

But this is what the headscarf has come to be about it. When glancing at the street pictures in any city, the headscarf is there but the wearer often follow full fashion fads and trends and fashion is inherently objectifying women as well a sign of vanity.

The Quran is clear that a womans beauty is for her husband only. Not to be paraded and accentuated or emphasized through fashion, makeup, bling. Trust me I have caught several guys gawk at head scarf donning females. And the females are fully aware with their makeup, tight figure hugging clothing and heels. Heels which not only raises you but also makes your walk and movement look extremely sexy.

So what is essentially the difference between one wearing a headscarf and her peer not wearing one? Nothing. Except the hair. And it is absolutely incorrect and unealistic to claim that all the men across the world are suffering from hair fetish. I believe from the Quran that Allah have given us modest clothing. Modest and fashion? do not go hand in hand.

But when people want to have their cake and eat it too, hijab fashion is invented.

Just remember, a head scarf does not make anybody pious. In fact Allah warns us of taking physical symbols at face value. One can wear a headscarf yet still be and are engaged in immoral/unislamic behaviour ranging from non supervised dating to sex.

I see the headscarf as more of a fashion fad and I was around when it first emerged. It was not always part of the street picture despite Muslims emigrating to the West for decades before this. Even as a female I can't help notice the contradiction and wonder, what is racing through the minds of the males when the see such sexily dresses females. Attracting attention to oneself, plucking eyebrows, highlighting your beauty is not modest - by any measure.


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