In January of this year, Dolce and Gabbana launched high end designer hijabs and abayas, taking the Muslim world by surprise. Muslim women—or muslimah—from around the world were sharing on their social media accounts links to these high-end muslimah fashions.
Soon after Uniqlo collaborated with well-known muslimah blogger Hana Tajima to launch a clothing line in her name, Marks & Spencer launched a full line ‘burkini’ available for purchase online.
Companies are doing this in order to profit off of the growing Islamic demographic in the Western world. Also Arab women in high society are often seen wearing designer clothing, so it makes sense to cater to muslimahs.
This has not come without controversy. French businessman and bigot, Pierre Bergé, the long-time business partner of the late fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent expressed his bigoted views on French radio station Radio Europe 1.
Berge’s apparent hatred of Islam and Muslims was very apparent in his xenophobic comment in stating, “Creators should have nothing to do with Islamic fashion. Designers are there to make women more beautiful, to give them their freedom, not to collaborate with this dictatorship which imposes this abominable thing by which we hide women and make them live a hidden life. These creators who are taking part in the enslavement of women should ask themselves some questions.”
This is very telling coming from a man whose home country has a history of discrimination against Muslims. France has outlawed the wearing of the burqa and extended it to the hijab in public places.
France is known to be home to many satirical magazines that have made it a duty to humiliate Muslims. Charlie Hebdo is an example of this. They have consistently gone out of their way to make fun of the Muslim Prophet, Muhammed.
This resulted in tensions where Khawarij terrorists killed many people from the magazine. This should never have happened but it caused even more tension between Muslims and non-Muslims in France creating more Islamophobia.
Muslims in France have also been relegated to second-class citizenship. They are not given the same opportunities as people of ethnic French origin. So of course, it is easy for Mr. Bergé to proverbially scapegoat Muslims as less-than from his ethnocentric viewpoint.
This is also why he said that muslimah clothing amounts to the ‘enslavement of women’. It is very interesting in viewing this from an American perspective.
A muslimah, Kadra Muhammad, was just given the right to wear hijab becoming the first Hijabi police officer in Minnesota. Another muslimah, Carolyn Walker-Diallo was sworn in as a New York judge while wearing hijab and being sworn in on the Holy Qur’an.
Mr. Bergé shows his lack of understanding or caring of what the hijab represents to Muslim women around the world. For him to take this cheap swipe at Dulce & Gabbana shows his pettiness in using bigotry to denounce a rival.
Since he does not know what the hijab and abaya mean to Islam, then I will do my best to explain it insha’Allaah.
The hijab–or the covering of a woman’s head to now show her hair–was mandated in a hadith where the Prophet told a 12-year-old girl who had recently started puberty to wear hijab and pointed to the ankles and the wrists to show where she should be covered to. This is the hadith that makes it clear it is fard—or obligatory—for Muslim women to cover, now why is this?
Muslims believe that a woman’s beauty should be preserved for her husband. It is like a candy in a beautiful wrapper, once you unwrap the paper you get to the candy. Treasures are always hidden.
The hijab in fact is not meant to control women, but to control men. It is understood that men are weak and are genetically programmed to look and to want to spread their seed. This is in our lowest nature and yet it is a very strong component. The male sex drive is very strong.
It is believed that a woman should be respected for her intellect and not her body or beauty. Mr. Bergé is attacking Islam, he is in fact attacking what we hold sacred, our women. A woman is the first teacher of the child, a mother. They have a large responsibility. They are the cornerstone of any strong household. Also Muslim women have the right to inheritance, and to own their own businesses, to work as well.
A Muslim husband has no right to his wife’s income and must support her financially.
In the West however, it is common to see women and mothers not respected. Women are seen as sex objects. Due to the Kim Kardashian’s and Paris Hilton’s of the world, Western women feel as if they must pimp themselves out sexually, to take away their dignity in order to become successful, and successful to them in the West is to become famous. That is why you see millions of Western women’s Facebooks and other social media sites filled with nothing but pictures where they are 90% naked.
This is by design. When you go into any store across America, you will see that the clothes for girls as young as toddlers are overly sexualized. The clothes for pre-pubescent teen girls are meant to draw attention to their bodies.
So while Mr. Bergé is attacking Muslim women for being modest and covering themselves, Mr. Bergé has yet to speak out about the blatant sexualization of young girls in the fashion world.
What is truly sad is that a man like Berge and his own personal double standard on this, along with his silence on this more important matter truly speaks volumes.