Month: February 2019

My Best Friend Is a “Grievous Sinner”

My Best Friend Is a “Grievous Sinner”

Trigger Warning: This article contains mentions of suicide, abuse, and miscarriage. It may be difficult for some to read. It feels like yesterday. Staring at the ceiling in the dark, trying to sleep after excitedly texting my best friend twice to tell her about how […]

10 Modest Fashionistas Reshaping How We See Style

10 Modest Fashionistas Reshaping How We See Style

When it comes to fashion trends and what to wear, it can all seem so daunting. Being expected to navigate through the minefield of pleats, frills, psychedelic geometry of prints, florals, pastels, and daring PVC, is no easy task. And that doesn’t even begin to […]

French Politicians Force Boycott of Decathlon Sports Hijab

French Politicians Force Boycott of Decathlon Sports Hijab


Earlier today, the French sports store, Decathlon, announced its intention to cancel plans to put out a sports hijab in response to threats of a boycott by French politicians. Shockingly, several bouts of criticism came from ministers in President Macron’s centrist government.

Agnès Buzyn, the current Health Minister in Macron’s government, stated [about the sports hijab]: “It’s a vision of women that I don’t share. I would prefer if a French brand did not promote the headscarf.” Agnès Buzyn herself was one of the first to openly suggest a boycott of the French brand. Adding to the criticism, Aurore Bergé, a politician from President Macron’s “La République En Marche” party tweeted: “My choice as a woman and citizen will be to no longer trust a brand which breaks with our values.”

In slightly more encouraging news, another politician from the “La République En Marche” party, Fiona Lazaar, tweeted her disappointment regarding Decathlon’s plans to cancel the release of the sports hijab, claiming that this was a classic case of giving in to “racist threats and unbridled Islamophobia.”

When all is said and done, it is an utter shame that Decathlon has buckled under the pressure of those determined to further marginalize Muslim women.

In an attempt to temper the wave of hate that Decathlon received because of their plans to market a sports hijab, they tweeted, “Our goal is simple: to offer [women who run with an often unsuitable hijab] an adapted sport product, without judgement.”

When all is said and done, it is an utter shame that Decathlon has buckled under the pressure of those determined to further marginalize Muslim women. It is extremely disappointing to hear about this happening in France. Is it such a stretch to say that everyone should be given an equal opportunity to play a sport, if they desire to do so, and what they wear should never be a factor?

If Decathlon really does follow through with their plans to nix their sports hijab, this would mean that they are discriminating against a religion. Due to their actions, the message they will send Muslim women who wear the headscarf is that their participation is not worth anything because of the cloth on their heads.

For years, certain members of French society have been demanding that French Muslims assimilate to French society. And yet, they simultaneously create environments where French Muslims, in this case, Muslim women, won’t be comfortable participating. They want Muslims to assimilate through things like sports, but this can only happen if French Muslim women are able to participate in sports without feeling like they have to choose between sports and their religion. If this hijab release really is canceled, then this will have the opposite desired effect. So it really is about time that those railing against the sports hijab stop pretending that their concerns are about appearing secular.

Make no mistake, when a brand offers a product that gives the gift of inclusivity, lives change. But Decathlon opted to give in to bias chatter and snatch this gift away.

Ever since Ibtihaj Muhammad started sporting the Nike sports hijab, Nike has seen an overwhelmingly positive response to their approach at inclusivity. This demonstrates that being inclusive can help a business flourish. Make no mistake, when a brand offers a product that gives the gift of inclusivity, lives change. But Decathlon opted to give in to bias chatter and snatch this gift away.

Overall, this is very concerning. If French Muslim women are being subjected to this, then it’s possible that other right-leaning European countries may start to follow this route. If that happens, there may be a chance that women will feel discouraged from participating in various sports.

At the end of it all, I think it’s crucial to have Muslim women (and men) in every field. We want to be represented in a more accurate and positive light, but it’s hard when you can’t picture yourself in a certain field, and the environment being fostered is one of intolerance.

By rejecting the sports hijab, it feels as though Decathlon is saying that Muslim women aren’t capable or deserving of being involved in sports. It feels as though Decathlon is claiming that the voices of bias are worth more than the fiery passion of headscarf-wearing warriors. And if anyone believes that this isn’t a big deal, imagine being told you couldn’t participate, or be someone in your current field due to something that’s beyond your control. When you think of it in that respect, Decathlon canceling the hijab should be a concern for everyone.





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[Poem] Screw You Bollywood. You Messed Everything Up.

[Poem] Screw You Bollywood. You Messed Everything Up.

You told me that every fight must be loud and passionate. You told me I have to suffocate to experience true love. You told me if I say “No,” and he grabs me back, it’s because he loves me. You told me I am not […]

#MGAnon: Can We Talk About Sex, Please?

#MGAnon: Can We Talk About Sex, Please?

Welcome to #MuslimGirlAnon, your one-stop spot for all the advice you could need! Every week, we crowd-source the very best advice our #MGClique has to offer about issues plaguing our girl gang. Need some advice? Write to editorial@muslimgirl.com, and we may just feature you!  Q: […]

Our Top Five Underrated Beats For Black History Month

Our Top Five Underrated Beats For Black History Month


Love music? Me too! Love being Black? Same, sis! These five amazing, underrated songs will make you want to sing and dance, and may even bring a tear to your eye! Music really is a powerful (and fun) way to spread a message, and by the end of this list, I hope you will have five more amazing additions to your playlist:

(Please note that these songs contain explicit language)

1. This is America by Childish Gambino

Donald Glover, AKA Childish Gambino, uses many different hidden symbols, signs, and gestures to create a wonderful music video about the struggles of living in America while black, along with the violence shown throughout the states.

“Police be trippin’ now. 
Yeah, this is America. 
Guns in my area.”

 

 2. White Privilege by Macklemore

This amazing song is about a white man accepting his privilege while pushing other Americans to do the same. Macklemore also highlights the issue of cultural appropriation in the music industry, speaking out about how people choose to ignore it.

“I want to take a stance cause we are not free.
And then I thought about it, we are not we.”

 

3. I’m Not Racist by Joyner Lucas

This song is a discussion between a caucasian, racist Trump supporter, and a Black man. The song includes many stereotypes of Black people versus the troubles, hardship, and trauma that comes with being Black in a country whose system works against you.

“I’m not racist and I never lie,
But I think there’s a disconnect between your culture and mine.”

 

4. Fight by Brockhampton

Brockhampton’s amazing song, “Fight”, speaks of a young boy learning of racism and the labels that come with being a person of color. The band comes together to create an amazing piece highlighting this important issue.

“Little black boys have a place in the world,
Like hanging from trees.
Or dead in the street.”

 

5. CANTU by Aminé

This more lighthearted song by one of my favorite rappers talks about love for natural hair, and the annoyance felt when you hear, “Can I touch it?” This upbeat song screams confidence and self-love.

“I got them dreads, bussin’ bussin’
‘Cause I might wanna let my hair down.”



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#JusticeForMustafa:  Stop Dismissing Anti-Muslim Hate Crimes as Road Rage

#JusticeForMustafa: Stop Dismissing Anti-Muslim Hate Crimes as Road Rage

Last week, the Muslim community lost a life. Mustafa Ayoubi, an Indiana University graduate, died from gunshot wounds from what some news outlets are calling a “road rage” incident. Records show that the two shots which struck Ayoubi in the back came from a man […]

The Top 10 Books to Read for Black History Month

The Top 10 Books to Read for Black History Month

Black History stretches across time, space, and disciple. Everywhere from the arts, film, and pop culture, to politics, activism, and education, Black women and men around the world have made, and continue to make history. Although there are many ways to celebrate Black History, nothing […]

Rami Malek and 7 More Historic Milestones from Oscars Night

Rami Malek and 7 More Historic Milestones from Oscars Night


A few years ago, the viral hashtag #OscarsSoWhite shed light on the blatant lack of representation in those being acknowledged for their efforts in the film industry. Well, it seems that the powers-that-be certainly took notice because 2019 was the year that we saw the most diverse list of nominees and winners. Here are some of the moments that had us feeling all the feels:

 

1. Pete Ramsey: The First Black Director to Win Best Animated Film

Pete Ramsey became the first Black director to win an Oscar for “Best Animated Film” for his masterpiece, “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse”.

“We love you, and we just want you all to know, we see you. You’re powerful. This world needs you, okay, this world needs you. So please, we’re all counting on you,” Ramsey said of the countless minorities who have gone their whole lives without seeing themselves represented in film. Overall, this film had the most diverse cast in the Marvel cinematic universe, and that is absolutely something to celebrate. This film teaches its audience that anyone can be a hero.

 

2. Rami Malek Becomes First American Egyptian to Win “Best Actor” Oscar

“I am a son of immigrant parents from Egypt. I’m first generation American,” announced Rami Malek as he made history. This moment was nothing less than aspirational for our Coptic brothers and sisters, who continue to face persecution in Egypt.

 

3. “Black Panther” Wins Big for Costume and Production Design

Last night, Hannah Beachler became the first African American woman to be nominated for and to win the Oscar for her production design work for “Black Panther”. Additionally, fellow African American, Ruth E. Carter, swiftly followed by  earning an Oscar for “Best Costume Design”, thus making her the first Black woman to do so. As if that wasn’t enough, “Black Panther” also won the Oscar for “Original Score”! Not only was this a huge win for Marvel, but it was also a huge win for the idea that stories told by minorities are worthy of being heard. It was incredible to see a film like “Black Panther” win not one, but three Oscars!

 

4. Mahershala Ali Becomes the First Muslim Actor to Win 2 Oscars

“Green Book” won “Best Picture” and “Best Actor in a Supporting Role”! As an American Muslim, this was especially exciting to see since I don’t remember ever seeing a Muslim win an Oscar before. It’s a step in the right direction, and I hope that we see more Muslims in the film industry so that our stories get told in a positive light.

 

5. “Roma” Wins Best Foreign Film

Director Alfonso Cuaron’s deeply personal tale following social cohesion throughout sociopolitical upheaval in Mexico took the prize for “Best Foreign Film”. The former director of “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” said, “To create a single frame of film, as you well know, requires the work of a lot of people, very hard work.” By the end of the night, Cuaron’s film had won two awards—”Best Director” and “Best Cinematography”. I haven’t watched this film yet, but after hearing about it during the Oscars, I’m interested in seeing it.

 

6. Rayka Zehtabchi Becomes First Iranian-American Woman to Win an Oscar

The short documentary based in India, “Period. End of Sentence,” won the Academy Award for “Best Documentary Short Subject” category. In addition to its frank discussion about a taboo topic, the triumph meant that the director Rayka Zehtabchi became the first Iranian-American woman to win an Oscar. This documentary is important for India’s #MeToo movement and for the fact that it openly talked about periods publicly. It’s an open and honest discussion for anyone who’s interested in seeing it. Surely, Rayka said it best when she exclaimed, “I can’t believe a film about menstruation just won an Oscar!”

 

7. “Roma” and “The Favourite” Tied for the Most Oscar Nominations

What a wonderful thought that a foreign film took front-and-center stage at the Oscars on the same night that actor Diego Luna made a statement by starting his speech in Spanish, and Javier Bardem claimed, loud and proud, that “There are no borders or walls that can restrain ingenuity and talent.”

 

8. Spike Lee Wins His First Academy Award for “BlacKkKlansman”

After regaling us with tales of his family history, Lee left us with a simple message about the 2020 election:

“Let’s all mobilize, let’s all be on the right side of history….Make the moral choice between love versus hate. LET’S DO THE RIGHT THING!”

Although Lee finally got his Oscar, he claimed that he should’ve gotten it sooner, according to the CBS report on the Oscars. We couldn’t agree more, and we hope that this beautiful display of diversity is the first of many for an awards show that spurred the hashtag, “Oscars So White”!

Regardless of whether or not you watched the Oscars this year, this list highlighted what I thought were the most important parts of the night. I think that there was a lot more diversity this year than usual, which I believe is a step in the right direction. What’s important now, however, is that we continue to hold those in power responsible to ensure that diverse stories continue to get the attention they deserve!



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What Does It Mean to Stand at the Intersection of Being Black, Muslim, and Pakistani?

What Does It Mean to Stand at the Intersection of Being Black, Muslim, and Pakistani?

What does it mean to be Black, Muslim, and Pakistani? It is a complex world to navigate, and often results in the feeling of being too foreign for each of the three groups because of your incredibly unique experience. It affects ever part of your […]