Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Muslim Headscarves Unveil Attitudes and Opinions


Women wearing traditional Islamic clothing are an increasingly common sight in Finland's cities. For Finland's young urban Muslim population Islamic dress is both a religious interpretation and a fashion statement, but it can also draw intolerance.

"The headscarf symbolises respect," says 19-year-old Dina Akoudad who adheres to the Islamic dress code.

Dina says observing tradition doesn't stop her and other Muslim girls from being fashion-conscious and displaying their individuality.

Young Muslim women are making the hijab their own by incorporating influences from mainstream Finnish youth, such as heavy metal music, in cloth prints.

Read the rest here.


Inspired Muslimah said...

Salaams sis,
Interesting article. I am looking to compile a list of muslimah reverts and those who have been muslim all of there life to see if and how long they have been a hijabi. If you get a second check it out.

Anonymous said...

that's nice to see these sisters doing these, we can see Islam is back in the youth's hearts hamdolila,
hey sisters and you Jana, I have a question, would you eventually know where in London we can find Jalabiyaat for parties?

Celeritas said...

Its great to see countries with long term significant Muslim populations like the Nordic countries beginning to accept that their Muslim population want to ethnically identify.

Anonymous said...

as-salamu aleikum,

I am a converted sister from finland and I must say that the only "long term significant muslim population" that we have, are the Tatars, and they really don't show their muslim-identity by wearing the islamic dresscode. There are quite a few of them in Finland, but i haven't personally never known one, or even seen one. So they are also a quite isolated population. As immigrants we have muslims most from the African and Middle-Easterns countries, but they have been in Finland just from the 80's.. So that really isn't a very long term.

Secondly, Finland (and the finnish non-muslim-population) doesn't really even want to accept that we want to be ethnically identified. "Many of my friends have been told they'll get the job if they leave the scarf at home," says Dina. Unfortunately this is the truth, and despite the fact that i am also well-educated, study languages at the university and have a very rich work-history, I haven't got any of those jobs I really wanted (in the clothingshops for example). I was even almost forced to take my hijab off, when I was working in a hotel as a room-maid, my chef said my hijab "ruins the imago of the hotel"... Al-hamdoulillah i fought back, and got to keep my hijab (otherwise I would have stopped working there).

But, if you compare Finland with Sweden or Norway, the difference is huge. Better jobs for hijabi-sisters, bigger mosques, state supporting the education of imams and so on...

I really don't know why the situation is like it is, but as I am now living in Germany I get to hear very often, that people know Sweden/Norway, and also want to travel there some day.. (But Finland, no).
Well,no wonder. Those lands are always one step ahead in everything, and Finland is just..well left behind :-)

*~Ange~* said...

i love the way she has wrapped her hijab. very nice!

Saliha said...

Salaam Anon,

Sounds a bit like the situation in Belgium & the Netherlands. The Netherlands are way more ahead, you actually see hijabi sisters working in stores, whereas in Belgium.. you hardly see working hijabis at all. And there is an active muslim community here since the 60's, so yeah, very frustrating for muslimas to find decent jobs. Insha'Allah things will change in the future.

OT: I really love the hijab-style this muslima is wearing, looks very clean with that structured bonnet.

Celeritas said...

Salam Anon, apologies for getting my information wrong. I thought that the Muslim immigrants came earlier than the 80's. It is sad that you can't get a job wearing hijab, I sort of cheated here in New Zealand, not wearing hijab for the first 9 months of my job and then starting to wear it. Inshallah 'liberal-Western-secular' countries will apply their purported values of freedom of religion and expression to their Muslim minorities soon.

Anonymous said...

Salam celeritas...

no problems, with that misunderstanding.
About getting a job with hijab.. I think it also depends a lot about the work itself. You see It has been told right in to my face, that in those customer-service-jobs people don't want to see a woman with hijab standing behind the desk.. sometimes it it the imago of the company, sometimes they claim that hijab doesn't belong to the workuniform, and sometimes they say that customers wouldn't find a hijabi very trustworthy/or the headscarf would scare them away...

I don't know, I am personally already so sick and tired about this "job-hunting", and have just decided to move to a muslimcountry after my studies. After all, it is also said, that muslims shouldn't live (if they have the possibility to choose) in a non-islamic-countries, if their freedom of practising their religion is hindered there... I see getting a job with a hijab for me as avery important factor, and that is the reason why i choose to live somewhere else than in my birthcountry, somewhere, where people respect my religion.
I hope, that inshaallaah the situation will change in future though, because there are also in Finland so many muslimwomen who don't have any other option than to stay there...

It makes me also mad, when the politicians claim that the immigrants don't integrate well enough, and that they should work more... Well no wonder, if a big part of those immigrants are hijab-wearing muslimwomen, wo can't get the jobs..

Wa salam :-)

Sis said...

I am a finnish muslim but Ilive in the UK.Yes as you say there are not many hijais in Finland. Many finnish muslims live abroad like me maybe its easier to be muslim here in the UK.
Iused to live in Sweden and really its not that easy there with hijab , you wont get a job easy with hijab. They have great laws but they really dont work well in reality.. swedes dont like hijai sisters at all either....Wasalaam

Anonymous said...

Salam sis,

nice to "see" other finish sisters here :-) did you live in stockholm or where in sweden? i visited stockholm just last summer and i got the feeling that the people there are much more open-minded and multiculti. i also find it very sweet that in almost every swedish job-announcement they say that all kind of ethniticies are welcome... you can not find that in finland. do they really mean it, or are they just bluffing?...
many of my sisters (back home in finland) think that it should be easier to live in sweden as a muslim, but if you have other kind of experiences, i certainly throw up my hands concerning this topic.


Sis said...

Yes i understand you sister. I lived in Stockholm and I never want to move back there.
Much talk there they are bluffing, really not nice when people make strange sounds when you are passing by with hijab or say something stupid to you like "do you think this is a sharia country" or something like this...

Lots of times at shops the sellers where really unpolite to me really MEAN but not to anyone else.

As I mentioned the laws are fantastic but they don't work.I really did not feel ok there..If you want to live in Sweden I recommend Göteborg, they are a bit nicer over there than in Stockholm.UK is really much much better than Sweden!
I mean I guess its much better than Finland but still not good unuff.They have a big mosque but the muslims there really dont care about others.You can feel really lonely there even if there are more muslims there than in Finland.

And most of the muslims there are salafis so if you say you follow a madhab they wont be your friend at all.Hmm I would really try to think about another country to move to not to Sweden.

The climate is hard for non Scandinavians to live in in case you are married to a non Scandinavian man.You know its so cold and dark about 6 months a year same as in Finland.I can cope it but not my family.

But I did hear about Norway Oslo that its a bit better for muslims lots of Pakistani ans over there , but the weather is like in Finland and Sweden of course. :o)
Good luck!


Anonymous said...

Salaams all finnish sister and all the other too!

I regocnize my homecountry from your descriptions ofcourse, but I wouldn't draw such a dark picture maybe as you did.
I have to say something defensive and positive about Finland. I have been fortunate to get a good job that I like, which is halaal and all without any difficulties, alhamdulillah. My job even offers me free hijabs which belong to my working uniform. I work also sometimes in custome service and I have always got respect from my workmates, customers and supervisor and I know that I'm not an rare exeption.
Yes I know that there is lots of narrowminded jerks here as I think there is in the world anywhere but I don't let them effect to my life. I know also that there is lots of work and improvement to do here in Finland and I'm ready to be one of the pioneers who do that work. At least we don't have discriminative laws against hijab like in France or in Turkey and Insha'Allah there will not be in the future too.
By the way, I like the climate here, four seasons and all (summer could be little bit longer and hotter though), love ice skating, skiing and wintersports in general.
Let's keep doing the dawa and insha'Allah we'll eat the fruits of our work later, or our children will.

Umm said...

Good to hear that some Muslims are having jobs and like to live in Scandinavia.

I lived almost all my life in Stockholm and never saw an ad with them asking for foreigners.I am surprised to even hear about such thing. Actually most of the foreigners work as taxi drivers or cleaners or in pizza shops IF they have a job.The social welfare is great there so even without a job you´ll get unuff money to live and a great flat too.The standard of the flats are great much better than in the UK.
However to get a job is really hard and not fun to be without work all your life.
Immigrants are second class people there.

You can live in places with many foreigners but the places are dirty and not not nice at all. Also many criminals live there.

Sweden is good in many things such as the living standards and social welfare but as a foreigner even with high education its really difficult to get a job so doctors and lawyers work as taxi drivers.

In places with many foreigners you can go with hijab/niqaab without any problems but if you go to town as a convert with hijab or niqaab you´ll find it very difficult.Many sisters complain that people shout at them and treat them bad..So to stay in the suburb is the best.
Sweden are not ashamed to show their hate to us muslims.
Once a woman tried to take my wail off my head over there.

it will take more time than only one generation to them to accept muslims in Finland / Sweden.Here in the UKwe have been here for 100years and now its good it will take about 100 years from now in Sweden and Finland aswell I thing.wa salaam

Anonymous said...

Assalaamu Alaikum,

Again I'll have to disagree with you umm (I was the one who wrote the earlier post). My hubby is a foreigner who has always had a job that he's educated for he has never been discriminated in the workfield too. He speaks very fluent finnish though. I'm sorry to hear that you have that hijab pulling thing in Sweden, but my dear sister from London has told me that after 9/11 that has been happening also in Britain (I have also lived there). Yes the living standards are higher in scandinavian countries and I know what kind of houses you have there in Britain and I really don't think that all that multiculturalism can compensate it. On the other hand the enviroment is also much safer here, every week I hear that someone has been robbed or even stabbed in UK.


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