CAN MUSLIMS RAP? MONA HAYDAR CONTROVERSY

The fact that this is even considered news is crazy, but the reality is, I didn’t know how to feel about it when I saw it either. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, then boy are you missing out!

A Syrian immigrant from Detroit posted a music video in her hijab and the world went crazy about it.

When I first came across this video, I didn’t know how to feel about it. It was a mixture of   it’s great that there are some hijabis breaking stereotypes, but also, the message sounded a bit too extreme in my opinion. It sounded a little like a man-hating chant to be honest, but the beat was pretty sick, and those dance moves were pretty cool too. The pregnancy part kind of weirded me out a little, actually a lot, but music videos are always a sight.

Despite that, I still enjoyed the song, and it was whatever- but apparently nothing is whatever when a muslim does it now a days.

The reaction in the comments section was like a battlefield- as per usual. Another digital crusade- you had muslim haters there, the haram police, people who were confused and people who were just straight up trash talking her for no reason and calling her out on being such a sinner.

I was genuinely scared for the hate and backlash this girl was getting, and I legit thought she would probably get overwhelmed and just stop. Then today, she posted this on her channel:

 

The real question on my mind is; would this have been as controversial if she wasn’t wearing a hijab? Imagine if she’d posted these videos with her hair done and dressed scantily with an “Allah (swt)” tattoo on her shoulder, would it have been just as controversial then?

Most likely not. Muslims judge muslim women without hijabs in a more lenient manner. She would have been labeled as a “bad muslim” and her video would’ve just become one of the many music videos on youtube today. I think the real reason Mona Haydar’s music videos became controversial is the fact that she is dressed like most modest orthodox muslims now a days, and the message she’s trying to send isn’t that “she’s going to do what she wants and not care about anything” the message she’s trying to send is that ” I’m doing whatever I want without trespassing the boundaries of Allah so none of you can say anything to me” in other words, she’s trying to say that I make music, I wear a hijab, I’m an exemplary muslim, and this is allowed by my religion and you have to accept it at a time when in some muslim cultures, hearing a woman’s voice alone is considered haram. At a time when even a woman showing her face, her identity, is seen as haram and twisted into the religion by the same sheikh’s who are sending Mona DM’s on her Insta.

It sounds like a joke, it should be a joke, but is unfortunately, a reality in many muslim communities today.

To conclude this opinionated rant:

The only real problem I have with Mona Haydar’s second song, is that I wouldn’t feel comfortable having it blare out of my car whilst driving because I know that others will only hear the “he’s a dog, he’s a dog”  which is kind of offensive. And I know that artistically speaking, the video was talking about rapists and sexual offenders and such, but at the same time it still sounds somewhat vulgar to me for some reason.

And while I totally dig the beat and the fact that Mona Haydar is still going at it strong, I can’t say that I will be rapping with my hijab anytime soon, but I’m definitely glad some other hijabi is doing it out there so that I don’t get as much heat if I ever wanted to do it.

Bottom line, whether you hate or love Mona Haydar- the girl is creating culture and a reality of culture is that the more you see something, the more it becomes normal- the more it becomes culture. And for western muslims, we have no culture, and we need more things like this, instead of forcing muslim artists able to only convey their art Hollywood style, we should let them express themselves the way they want without de-islamifying them for it. We can’t have a strong community without a solid culture to bond us, and that’s what artists like Mona Haydar do.

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Also, your girl Dina Tokio seems to approve! I find it really cool when I see muslims supporting other muslims like this.


Quick Bio of Mona Haydar: Mona Haydar is a poet, activist practitioner of Permaculture, meditator, composting devotee, mountain girl, solar power lover and a tireless God-enthusiast. She practices a life of sacred activism, poetry, contemplation and advocacy for living gently upon the Earth. She teaches classes and retreats on mindfulness and Islamic spirituality, leads workshops on creative writing and performs her poetry. Her words have found homes in the hearts of seekers, wanderers, poets, artists, lovers and stewards of the Earth. She grew up in Flint, Michigan, graduated from the University of Michigan and has since lived in Damascus where she studied Arabic and Islamic spirituality then went on to live in the mountains of Northern New Mexico at Lama Foundation and in the Redwood forest of Northern California with her husband and son. Mona and her husband, Sebastian set up a stand in Cambridge, Massachusetts with signs that read ‘Talk to a Muslim’ ‘free coffee and donuts’ ‘free conversation’ and ‘Ask a Muslim’ encouraging open and loving dialogue which garnered the attention of NPR, Al Jazeera, The Boston Globe among other media outlets. Currently she is working on her second collection of poems and her first work of nonfiction on Islamic Spirituality through the lens of other spiritual traditions. She is working towards her Masters in Divinity. Mona helps to grow a more universal love with her activism, writing, performing and teaching. http://www.monahaydar.com. More about Mona.

My Message to Brothers Searching for “Nice Hijab A$$” on Google

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First off, I couldn’t decide whether to title this post “The Embarrassing Muslim” or just plain “WTF are Muslim Guys Googling?”

Before I go on ranting, let me show you these pictures from my Blog Stats.

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Let me explain. What you just saw are phrases that people have found my blog through. They are things people have searched. These are not the only ones, they are just several, and keep in mind my blog is small.

Now, my problem with this, isn’t that there are some muslim guys, or girls spending their time on the internet searching for this stuff, it’s the fact that I know, in some twisted way, a brother out there has convinced himself that trading the word “hijab” for “girls” would somehow make it okay to look this up.

That it’s less haram somehow, and maybe even justified and halal in his mind to look at pictures of Hijabi girls and not girls. And let me just straight up say no to this. No, no, no. This is embarrassing for our muslim community. If you want to do something wrong, go do it wrong, but don’t try to twist the religion into it. That’s unacceptable.

Furthermore, in Islam the deal was for women to be modest and chaste and for men to lower their gaze and cover from the navel to the knees. Why is it that lowering “the gaze” part is often under scrutinized, while the hijab is put under the microscope and overly judged? Additionally, and this is a bit off-topic, why is it that when at a beach or a resort, muslim guys rush to strip to their shorts as to not be a covered obscenity in a beach, but the wife or sister wouldn’t budge to take off her hijab, because she knows a deal is a deal and Allah’s word is Allah’s word.

How can such a guy expect the woman next to him to look different in her chastity while he couldn’t even bear to keep his t-shirt on his chest not because it’s hot outside- but because he looks too different covered like that. And then he dares to judge her if a hair is out of her hijab, or if her sleeves are too short- all without realizing that he shouldn’t have been looking so intently at her like that in the first place! Revive your part of the chastity deal men!

And let me take a moment to say that not all guys are like this, and many of our muslim men are nothing but supportive and respectful and truly chaste on their part, but we could use more men like them in our community and it doesn’t hurt to point out some things that need fixing, especially when it’s a cultural issue rather than a theological one.

Bottom line, fellas if you want some hijab ass I’ll be your Google and answer the question for you; you won’t find any. Briefly put, hijab is a chaste woman, and not everything wrapped in a scarf qualifies as one. Better luck dropping that first word out of your search words next time; you’ll get the real results you’re looking for.


Thank you for taking the time to read my rant, I deeply appreciate it and truly hope you enjoyed reading this, even if I was being so extra in it! If you would like to read more stuff like this, you can follow my blog by clicking the follow button on the side bar, or you can simply add my site to your bookmarks (even though I feel like no one even checks their bookmarks?) Furthermore, it helps me out tremendously when people share my posts via Facebook, so if it’s not too much trouble please share it? 🙂
Photo Source: https://68.media.tumblr.com/0fb3b7242fc9910707672f88496c93a4/tumblr_inline_n7j5rlo1D41se604a.jpg
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Also, a huge thanks to this person who used my URL to come visit my blog again! It means a lot, you rock! 😉

Would I buy the NIKE sports Hijab?

TO NIKE OR NOT TO NIKE?

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيْمِ

From the midst of all this political bickering, the last thing I expected to come from it was a Sports Hijab. But I’m not complaining- about time somebody noticed us!

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Above you can see what to expect when Nike launches the Nike Hijab next spring, except I’m not exactly sure what they’re going to be calling it yet-personally I like the sound of Nike Hijab, sounds like something official.

Being someone who’s only been active in sports for fun, either playing with other kids in the neighborhood or taking part in my high school’s track and field for like a few weeks, and tennis for a few weeks and this and that for a few weeks, I haven’t struggled too much with finding a functional hijab to wear since I never competed professionally.

However, that’s not to say I haven’t had my fair share of searching and wishing for something that I could wear without having to feel like it takes away from my “sportiness” or at least how sporty I look. What people don’t understand is that often times with hijab, it’s the way people perceive you in it that creates the problem rather than the actual act of wearing the scarf itself.

When you wear a scarf, and you’re in a team or amongst a group that is all dressed in different but more “mainstream” apparel, you feel like a fish out of water, and it’s not because wearing the hijab makes you feel different, but rather because you’ve never actually seen someone else wear the hijab and play sports, so you feel like it can’t be done and that the two simply don’t go together.

But with the Nike swoosh now on the side of the hijab, it feels like it fits perfectly, regardless of how it looks. That checkmark, simple as it is, symbolizes a validation for a hijabi when she puts on that scarf and in the midst of her looking so alien, the swoosh is there as proof that it’s normal and acceptable.

Now with all that being said, would I buy a Nike sports hijab when it comes out? Hell to the yes. Not only will it be exciting to try a new Nike product, but I want to actually see if it’s any different from normal hijabs that I own. Furthermore, last time I went jogging I had a little hijab/hood malfunction so I’d like to see if the Nike hijab really will make things easier.

What are your thoughts on the Nike sports hijab announcement? Yay or nay? Silly or the next new trend?

Top 6 Reasons Muslim Girls Need to Visit Oman!

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One of the main reasons I haven’t been active on Muslimgurl.com is because 4 months ago I came to live in Oman. 

A quick recap of Oman; it’s a predominantly muslim country, one of the most peaceful and safest places in the world, and most importantly, a muslim country where even religious sects pray side by side in harmony. I’m talking like Shia and Sunni’s praying side by side without being at each others throats, like if that’s not an achievement, I don’t know what is.

And it sounds nice doesn’t it? Well, it gets even better 🙂

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Picture I stole from the blog Andy in Oman. It’s a photo of the food court in Muscat City Centre I believe.

1. EVERYTHIG IS HALAL

This one might be obvious, as a muslim country it’s readily assumed that everything there will be halal. However, in Oman it’s even better because they include all the major diners and restaurants you might’ve had back home, except now you can eat whatever you want in them at any location. Nandos, Subway, Pizza Hut, Burger King, McDonald’s, Chilies, Tim Horton’s… they’re all here and they’re all halal! No need to search online for halal
restaurants before I leave the house anymore :p

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Sunset at Yeti when we visited during Eid!

2. BEACH, GYM, POOL…BEACH!!

You know those stares that you get when you’re at the beach fully dressed while everyone else isn’t? You don’t get that here. You can swim dressed in anything you like at the beach. And there’s plenty of women’s only gyms and pools that you can go to without having to feel like you’re doing something horrifically wrong simply because of the way you’re dressed. And actually, you can wear whatever you want, put on an abaya, then take off the abaya in the locker room and voila. Zero awkwardness. Zero uncomfortableness. 

 

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A picture of Oman Avenues Mall from the outside that I stole from the internet!

3. SHOPPING 

The target consumer is you! Toothpaste ads emphasize things like “minimal breath” during ramadan and those delicious food commercials apply to you as well! Furthermore like with restaurants, all the major brands you’d want like Zara, Mango, H&M, Victoria’s Secret and a hundred others are all here. How sweet is that. 

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See that hat the guy is wearing? That’s a distinctly Omani hat to wear for men. Also, image credit goes to the British Council.

4. DIVERSITY

Many Middle Eastern countries now a days, lack diversity due to the safety issues prevalent in the area, however, in Oman, you will find a large population of Indian, Philippino, British, Bangladeshi, basically many ethnicities so you don’t feel ethnically bound to only one group, one culture and one way of thinking. 

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Sultan Qaboos Mosque (the 3rd largest mosque in the world) here in Muscat, Oman. Picture taken a few days ago, if you come early in the morning, you can head to the office and volunteer to help out for the day!

5. FITTING IN 

When I first stepped foot in Oman, there was a strange feeling of relief: not because we’d landed safely, but because I no longer had to prove that I’m a normal human being who doesn’t carry out terroristic acts for my religion to every single person I passed by.

I know it might sound a bit extreme, but the brutal reality is that unfortunately, some people really do believe that I, as a hijabi woman, would try to hurt them as part of my “religious beliefs.”

And the worst part is, there is no way to distinguish between someone who dislikes me for my personality and those who dislike me for my religion. The relationship is so gray that I’m constantly torn between, should I try harder to make a good impression to represent my reigion better, or do I change something about myself because it’s setting people off. Is it me they hate, or is it what I represent?


It’s a very confusing battleground, and the worst part is I can’t imagine the middle schoolers and high schoolers having to deal with this in addition to their life overload at this stage in their lives.

And that’s where the relief comes now that I’m in Oman: nothing is gray. The majority are muslim and the expats are here willingly, furthermore there is no sectarianism here. Meaning unlike other muslim countries, they don’t care about the political sunni-shia issues, the mosques here are beautiully packed with worshippers praying with their hands at their sides or across their chest, each to their own.

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6. ENGLISH, ENGLISH, ENGLISH!

Though it is an arabic country, the majority of transactions and interactions are done in English. Signs, prints, ads, everything is in big, bold beautiful English! To me this is a major plus since even day to day interactions such as at the cashier and restaurants are carried out in English, making my life so much easier since I no longer have to explain why yes, I’m arab, and yes I can speak arabic, but no, I have no idea how to communicate with you when I’m trying to order food or trying to open a bank account. 


And though Oman is a quiet and traditional country, it is organized and well-maintained, obviously there are downsides, but overall, it’s a not too shabby place to be in, and I will most definitely miss it when I leave next week. If you have the chance, give this charming quiet little country a visit.

FILM FRIDAYS: This Is Not An Apology!

Superb video mashAllah! 

10 AWESOME HIJABI YOUTUBERS YOU SHOULD KNOW!

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Here is a  hand-picked list of 10 Awesome Hijabi YouTubers that you should definitely check out!

1. ESLIMAH

What I love about this Youtuber is that her love for the religion is contagious, just watching her videos will grow your appreciation for Islam more. Continue reading

The Secret Hijabi Club

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بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيْمِ

You may have several hijabi friends, or maybe you have hijabi cousins or relatives, but chances are no matter how well you know this person, there are a few hijabi secrets that they’ve been keeping from you! Continue reading