Pamela Geller Discovers Fashion Jihad?

Sheila Musaji

Posted Dec 26, 2012      •Permalink      • Printer-Friendly Version
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Pamela Geller Discovers Fashion Jihad?

by Sheila Musaji

Pamela Geller of the hate groups AFDI/SIOA has found yet another example of those devious Muslims attempting to sneak their Sharia compliant, evil customs under the radar of decent folks. 

Geller is upset about an article by Seunghee Suh in the WSJ, How to Make the Hijab Hip which discusses Shaz Kaiseruddin who has created “The American Hijab Design Contest” in the hope of building a following for a fashion trend she calls “covered chic.”  Here is that shocking article:

...  “The scope of covered chic fashion far exceeds the Muslim population,” says Shaz Kaiseruddin, 31, a human rights attorney based in Chicago and the creator of the contest. “A hijab is as American as blue jeans.” 

Kaiseruddin hopes to build support for an “American hijab,” a headscarf that can have as many styles in a nation as diverse as America.  And she hopes to shake up the belief that the hijab, and Muslims, are foreign to America, and show that headscarves are fashion accessories anyone—regardless of faith—can play with in their wardrobes.

Nzinga Knight, an American fashion designer and a practicing Muslim, agrees.  “The notion of covering the hair because of religion is so ancient,” she says.  Knight, who presented her spring/summer 2013 collection at New York Fashion Week in September, is known for her modest, elegant clothes.  Her collection features opulent gowns with long sleeves and flowing skirts. Matching headscarves complete the outfits. She says she designs for women “who respect their bodies and find modesty to be beautiful and glamorous.”  “Our form of dressing is a way of communicating [modesty] to others,” says Knight. Women should reflect their beliefs in the ways they dress, she says. “I see dishonesty in women who dress provocatively, but say they want to be known for their brains.”

Knight and Kaiseruddin agree that covering up is not a sign of oppression, but of freedom of choice.  “Fashion can break down barriers and make the unfamiliar familiar,” says Kaiseruddin. “I’m confident that we, as a nation, will move towards a broader definition of what beauty looks like, a broader definition of what American fashion looks like, and a broader definition of what an American looks like.”

Geller is not going to let such disgusting efforts by Muslims go unchallenged.  After all, she is the West’s “defender of freedom”, and any civilized person understands that the only way to protect America’s freedom is to make sure Muslims don’t get the idea that freedom also applies to them.  She says about this article that this is Norming the sharia. More cultural jihad, now using fashion as the conduit to norming sharia. Trying to make the hideous fashionable, the hijab, niqab, etc as “covered chic.” A gorgeous inlaid wood coffin, that’s covered chic too.  Hijab, the new black! And who is shoving this agitprop down our throats, the Wall Street Journal. ...”

Perhaps she’s on to something.  This disgusting and savage concept of modesty exemplified by modest clothing and head coverings can’t be allowed to be made to seem normal.  Such deviant behavior could destroy the very fabric of America.  Geller thinks this is “fashion jihad”

Geller has not noticed that it is not only Muslim women who are spreading such ideas and “trying to make the hideous fashionable”. 

Here is another recent article about another group making the same sort of effort.  Oy! How Olivia Palermo became a style icon for Orthodox Jewish women by Olivia Fleming must have escaped Geller’s radar for such things:

“Orthodox Jewish women are taking fashion inspiration from style-star Olivia Palermo in an effort to shake-up their modest appearance.

The socialite has become one of the most influential red-carpet celebrities for style-conscious Orthodox women, who must follow three core rules of modesty in how they dress.  Looking to trend-setters like the 26-year-old for inspiration, Orthodox style blogger Sharon Langert told BuzzFeed: ‘Jewish Orthodox women are fashion savvy - they want to look up-to-date.’

Orthodox Judaism requires both men and women to substantially cover their bodies, which has previously hindered the way modern Orthodox Jewish women would like to dress.  There are three main rules, or tznius, they must adhere to: shirt sleeves should cover elbows, the neckline should extend to the collarbone, and skirts must cover the knees, with or without tights.  Trousers are forbidden, and married women must cover their heads with a wig, scarf or hat. ...

Appropriating the stars’ glamorous, but conservative looks, Orthodox women are stepping away from their traditional garb, instead creating fashionable outfits that still adhere to their tznius.  Not all Orthodox women allow fashion magazines in their homes, however, but many do follow trends, searching for style tips and inspiration on the increasing number of Orthodox fashion blogs like Mrs Langert’s, called  Fashion Isha. ...

Mrs. Langert who is mentioned in this article, has a statement on the front page of her fashion blog which includes these comments:

“... Most people in the world don’t understand the difference between ‘Hasidim’, Yeshiva Jews, or the Modern Orthodox. Without getting into details and an entire theological discussion, I’ll just say that, in my opinion, the main differences are based not only on the obvious exterior garb, but mostly the cultures of each sect, based on the traditions of their ancestors. But, in the end of the day we are all Jews. And we are highly misunderstood.

So if I may be so bold, I’d like to share my personal opinion and point of view. Being an Orthodox Jewish woman is not in any way in conflict with being a relevent and accomplished woman in today’s world.  And this is the underlying message of my blog: Balance. Beauty. Spirituality. Physicality. All done in a refined and purposeful way.

...  But, never did I doubt the fact that G-d ran this beautiful world. All I had to do was look outside at the trees, the flowers, the gorgeous people…all different yet so much the same! And, in my humble upbringing, I was kindly and gently raised with the belief that He gave us a set of rules that were really for our own good. And just like we would be considered really crappy parents if we let our kids do whatever they wanted whenever they wanted…stay up all night, eat candy all day.. G-d gave us rules to keep us sane and happy, whether we understood or liked it or not.

So I strove to find the BALANCE in it all. Because we are spiritual beings in a physical world and extremism isn’t healthy. We all have passions, dreams and desires and I promise you you can achieve them. And especially coming from me, an Orthodox Jewish wife and mother, who follows the rules of modesty and loves fashion, glamour and fun, I am telling you that you CAN find the right balance. Channel what you love in the proper way. Use your talents to better this world and yourself. ...

It’s no problem to replace observant Muslim woman with Orthodox Jewish woman, as these same sentiments are being echoed by both groups in America.  And, just like the American Muslim community, the American Jewish community also has specialty shops selling high fashion modest clothing.   

In fact, the concept of modest but fashionable clothing is not confined only to Muslim and Jewish women.  For example, there is a fashion blog called Couture for Christ,  a Style guide for modest Christian girls, and a company called Molly’s Clothing providing “hip, contemporary fashions for modest-minded women and girls.”

Somehow, I don’t think that Pamela Geller will be objecting to any of these manifestations of exactly the same considerations that she objects to in the Muslim community.  Her entire life is focused only on making sure that Muslims are despised, and marginalized.  She has a following of people who, like her, feel more important when they can look down on others.

The comments under Geller’s article make it clear that most her readers have little understanding of this issue.  Geller, however who claims to be a religious Jew, can only be pretending not to understand.  The comments are very revealing in many ways.  Here are a few as always, I won’t even bother with putting sic where appropriate:

Clive Lewis says that “It goes against religion, the way God made the world. Those people are pitting themselves against God, and in the Koran you can get into a lot of trouble for that.”

About attractive hijabs, Mzungu says: That’s really dumb because if the whole idea of hijab is to be immersed in humility and diminishment then the fashion statements undo that. Its kind of like a fellow who announces to everyone “I’m humble!”.

Gleaner1 says: As American as blue jeans eh? I don’t think so. American to my generation means rocking to the Beach boys singing California Girls.    Time we confronted these Islamo-Nazis with OUR cultures. Watched Riverdance playing to the Chinese last night - Wonderful. I want to go to an “enriched” area and play Christian Carols at full volume comlete with Nativity scene.    Your “enriched” areas, like ours, will not revert to their former status because muslims will see they dont. These areas are OUR ” East Jerusalem ” and ” West Bank “. We HAVE to reclaim them or watch them grow and become terror recruitment and training centers - even more than they are already.    Fight them with OUR Cultural supremecy because OUR cultures ARE Supreme.

NYConservative says: Why must we fight these miscreants in our own country? Who and Why brought these hostile foreigners into our country in such numbers? This is what needs to be exposed and debated. BEFORE we import another 10 Million of these traitors.

PrayHard says:  Hey, c’mon guys, those Islamic women gotta have something to cover up those cuts and bruises!

Madeleine says:  “Our form of dressing is a way of communicating [modesty] to others,” says Knight. Women should reflect their beliefs in the ways they dress, she says. “I see dishonesty in women who dress provocatively, but say they want to be known for their brains.”    You know what I see when I see woman like Ms. Knight? I see fear, depression, mental illness, oppression, signs of abuse, dark cicles under the eyes, too much eye make-up on to over compensate, and of course very serious health risks such as bone disease, rickets,and vitamin D deficiency which can be passed onto Muslim children.

One of her readers Meira750 does get it:  “This sounds as if it might be something for Modest Orthodox Jewish women. I’ve heard of religious girls in Israel having to go to Arab stores to buy modest wedding gowns. Wigs are NOT modest and not halachic. We must cover our heads with a scarf. I’ve seen a lot of Arab women where I live who look beautiful in their abeyas and hijabs. Gorgeous fabrics and colors, smart shoes and bags and no niqab. The fashion industry with it’s skank wear has made it impossible for older women or religious women to look smart and fashionable. If someone can move the trend away from that, good for them.    Clive Lewis, I don’t exist for your indulgent fantasies, sorry. That’s reserved for my husband. Go look at some Reubens paintings if you want to indulge your flesh.    Mzungu, that’s where you’re wrong. It’s not about “humility and diminishment.” It’s about discretion, modesty and exclusivity to one’s husband. Just the same as in Judaism. There’s a fine line between humility and discretion, for sure, but it is the latter we are supposed to practice. The US could use a bit of humility, however. Your arrogance is stunning.”  She will probably be banned from posting, but she is “right on”.

Just in case Geller missed those classes in Jewish school, she might want to read two articles on My Jewish Learning   How and when a Jew covers his or her head is a spiritual declaration and a nuanced social statement by Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz. 

The claim that the Islamophobes are “truth-tellers” and “defenders of freedom” who actually “love Muslims” and have never engaged in “broadbrush demonization” or “advocated violence” are nonsense.  The claim that they are falsely being accused of Islamophobia for no reason other than their legitimate concerns about real issues and that in fact there is not even such a thing as Islamophobia, or their claim that the fact that there are fewer hate crimes against Muslims than against Jews or that some Muslims have fabricated such crimes “proves” that Islamophobia doesn’t exist,  or that the term Islamophobia was made up by Muslims in order to stifle their freedom of speech, or that anti-Muslim bigotry is “not Islamophobia but Islamorealism” are all nonsense

The Islamophobia Industry exists and is engaged in an anti-Muslim Crusade.  They have a manifesto for spreading their propaganda, and which states their goal of “destroying Islam — as a culture, a political ideology, and a religion.” They produce anti-Muslim films.  They are forming new organizations and coalitions of organizations at a dizzying speed, not only nationally, but also internationally.   They have formed an International Leadership Team “which will function as a mobile, proactive, reactive on-the-ground team developing and executing confidential action plans that strike at the heart of the global anti-freedom agenda.”

The Islamophobia of these folks is very real, it is also strikingly similar to a previous generations’ anti-Semitism, and it has predictable consequences

The reason that this is so obvious to so many is that rational people can tell the difference between legitimate concerns and bigoted stereotypes.

The Islamophobes generalize specific incidents to reflect on all Muslims or all of Islam.   They consistently push the false memes that:  - we are in danger from creeping Sharia, - the Muslim population is increasing at an alarming rate, - 80% of American Mosques are radicalized,  - Muslims in government are accused of being Muslim Brotherhood plants, stealth jihadists, and creeping Sharia proponents and should be MARGINALIZED or excluded.  Every Muslim organization is connected to the infamous Muslim Brotherhood document or the unindicted co-conspirator label.  Individual Muslims and Arabs, and their organizations are accused of not condemning Hamas, telling American Muslims not to talk to the FBI, etc. 

These individuals and organizations consistently promote the false what everyone “knows” lies about Islam and Muslims (including distorting the meaning of Qur’anic verses, and distorting the meaning of Islamic terms such as taqiyya, jihad, sharia, etc.).  Islamophobes falsely claim to see “JIHAD” PLOTS everywhere, particularly where they don’t exist.   They, like Muslim extremists, don’t understand the true meaning of the term jihad.  The Islamophobes have uncovered countless examples of “shocking”, non-existent Muslim jihad plots.

When Islamophobes are caught in the act of making up or distorting claims they engage in devious methods to attempt to conceal the evidence. 

There is a reason that many, even outside of the Muslim community see such demonization of Muslims as Islamophobic.  There is a reason that the ADL has stated that Brigitte Gabriel’s Act for America, Pamela Geller & Robert Spencer’s Stop the Islamization of America (SIOA), David Yerushalmi’s Society of Americans for National Existence (SANE)  are “groups that promote an extreme anti-Muslim agenda”.  There is a reason that The Southern Poverty Law Center has designated SIOA as a hate group, and that these individuals are featured in the SPLC reports Jihad Against Islam and The Anti-Muslim Inner Circle.  There is a reason that these individuals and organizations are featured prominently in: — the Center for American Progress reports “Fear Inc.” on the Islamophobia network in America and Understanding Sharia Law: Conservatives skewed interpretation needs debunking. — the People for the American Way Right Wing Playbook on Anti-Muslim Extremism.  — the NYCLU report Religious Freedom Under Attack:  The Rise of Anti-Mosque Activities in New York State.  — the Political Research Associates report Manufacturing the Muslim menace: Private firms, public servants, and the threat to rights and security.  — The ACLU report Nothing to Fear: Debunking the Mythical “Sharia Threat” to Our Judicial System — in The American Muslim TAM Who’s Who of the Anti-Muslim/Anti-Arab/Islamophobia Industry.   There is a reason that the SIOA’s trademark patent was denied by the U.S. government due to its anti-Muslim nature.   There is a reason that these individuals and organizations are featured in just about every legitimate report on Islamophobia and anti-Muslim hatred. 

See Resources for dealing with Islamophobes for many more reasons that these people cannot be trusted.

PHOTO:  Getty Images. AFP PHOTO/MENAHEM KAHANA   Orthodox Jewish women visiting museum in Israel.  From article Jerusalem - Visitors Flock To Museum Exhibition Featuring Display Of 250 Years Of Hasidic Judaism.