Sunday, July 29, 2007

Don't Hate on the Hayjays

Hayjay is a really cool word my cousin used for her hijab for a while, and I still use it sometimes so I'm cool too.

On the internets I've come across a lot of articles about hijabis, or types of hijabis. Not only are there the usual anti-Muslim-it's-so-oppressive type ones, there's also the 'Muslims bashing half-donkeyed hijab-attempts' ones too. I mean, yeah, they're funny, but there's only so much material (transparent or otherwise) that you can get out of stereotypes before you just seem overly judgemental, right? Like this one: one of the first email forwards I got when we got the internet way back in the 20th century. I actually found it hilarious at the time, but then again I don't remember it having that sour little disclaimer at the end that "if anyone disagrees with me or is offended, then you are disagreeing with the teachings of Allah".

Baba Ali of Ummah Films does it much, much better - explains why he's doing it, so it's not just a vain attempt to get laughs but it's a reminder (well, yeah!), and hopefully a wee word of warning so people who don't know can correct themselves. I suppose some people could take it as offensive since it's coming from a brother, but inshallah it's coming from a sincere place.

All the same, I don't like the idea of people going around categorising people so they can go ahead and laugh about them later at the Islamic circle. I feel that if you really believe you've seen someone doing something so wrong it's worthy of ridicule, you should discreetly advise them first - even if you don't know them that well. The worst they can do is reject what you're saying, but at least you've done your duty. At best, you'll be telling them about something they didn't know, and you'll even be rewarded for that (inshallah!).

If you've not got the gall to tell them yourself, then at least don't mock them behind their back. I feel really guilty for all the times I've done this myself, maybe that's why I'm saying this. But really, if you've just seen some un-hijably hijab on a hijabi in passing, then try and put yourselves in their shoes and make some excuses for them. They might be wearing a luminous yellow hijab because all their other ones were dirty, or lost in a fire. Or they might be doing the mickey-mouse hijab because their ears got hot. Or they might have half their hair on their face because they just washed it yesterday and the stupid scarf won't sit right and there's some static electricity going on and they're EXTREMELY hot and bothered and annoyed that you're staring at them. If you see someone like that, it's probably me, so wave hi!

At the same time, you sometimes have to excuse hijabi behaviour in the same way. I mean, if they're doing outright haram, then you should tell them obviously. But say they're in the middle of a laughing fit- you don't have to assume that they're giggling for your benefit *COUGH* maniac muslim*COUGH*. Really, do brothers think like that? If I was to walk past a bunch of guys all guffawing heartily, I'd either think that it's just a coincidence and they were laughing during their conversation in general; or if I was feeling particularly paranoid that they were laughing at me. I'd usually go for the second option. But if a bunch of girls are laughing and a guy walks past, suddenly they're giggling coquettishly for him?

I suppose my problem is that if you're categorising people like that, based on the one time you saw them doing a certain thing, you're not leaving any room for the fact that they don't behave the same way all the time. They could be very sober in general, and just prone to the occasional hysterical cackle. They could dress normally most of the time, you just happen to see them on the day they're dressed up like a pirate. And so on.

And so, may I present to you:

click to embiggen!

19 comments:

gilmore_girl12 said...

Can you please visit my blog? And please leave comments.

Thanks!

Anna

hema said...

well said!! i love the way you point out that it's important not to judge someone at one particular point, and it's so important to make lots of excuses (70...) instead of assuming the worst. i love your excuses. and i'll be sure to say hi! i was like that until i discoivered bandanas and realised that's how people were keeping their hair back!!

Sumera said...

hahaha! Unexpected mahram hijaabi is spot on!

Muslimah said...

lol ah I've been in those unexpected mahram hijabi postions, actually just experienced one a couple hours ago! *sigh* the first thing that went through my head was "oh no, not again," and then of course a dash to find a hijab, (or something like it?)

Haleem said...

the christmas hijab is so common in our weddings!

Haleem said...

Then there is also the FBI hijabi... known such because she is undercover - literally.

Humairah Irfan said...

lol :)

snowdrops said...

ROFL! I was laughing at the desi wedding hijab thingummybob. But you know, when I went to the last wedding, [which was 3 years ago] I was in a hijaab that I wear when going out anywhere.

But I still wonder, what type of hijaab do I wear? Hmmm...

mcpagal said...

Hema: Thanks! I tried bandanas but they make my head hot and lumpy :(

Sumera & Muslimah, that was my favourite one too. I have honestly had to use a dish towel before.

Haleem: not sure if I get the FBI one. Other ones I was thinking of doing was the Sporty Hijabi (looks cool but may smell of BO) and the Drowned Rat Hijabi (getting caught in the rain is pretty much inevitable here...)

Humairah: :)

Snowdrops: thing is, you don't have to pick just one! I've probably been seen as all the ones I drew, except the really outlandish ones. Like, you know, the astronaut. Or the skirt *shudder*.

Anonymous said...

Salaam 'Alaikum

That drawing is so cute, and unlike a recent one I saw, doesn't have any hit of antipathy or dislike towards women who wear hijab. I'd like to see more comics. -- UmmZaid

Anonymous said...

PS: I'm a gothy-jilbaby-bad hair day - bad sideburns hijabi. --- UZ

UmmLayla said...

ROTFL! This is the first time I have been to your blog. Your cartoon is a laugh riot. I think I was a goth hijabi before I got married... Now I'm like a kurta hijabi. I think you forgot my personal favorite dressed for the wrong season hijabi... Quite common for new hijabis trying to find anything in thier wardrobe that covers them well... Even if that means a sweater in the heat of summer. I know I had my days!!!!

muslimahlocs said...

asa. that was too cute. may i suggest that you add a hijabidiva for girls like me (lol).

Anonymous said...

What a cute, well-intended and -written/-drawn post! Before I converted I never thought about the fact that you could have a bad hijab day, but I've had a few since then and they're SUCH a pain! Twice now I've worn a shayla that was too slippery and had the second wrap-around of it slip down and show my hair without my knowing, which is just mortifying. The only thing more conspicuous than a hijabi in my 'hood is a hijabi who's unaware half her head is on display. Oh, and where the heck do all my hijab pins disappear to 5 minutes before I have to rush out for the bus? -Hana

Traveller said...

duuude I *love* those lil cartoons - unlike the latest similar thing I saw..i'm with UmmZaid here. good job.

i can totally relate to many (if not most) of those hijba styles..i've been there and done that @ some point or other (def. not the astrohijabi tho i'm afraid).

i totally agree with ur whole post btw *thumbs up*

mcpagal said...

UmmZaid: Jazakallah! I think I know the other drawing you mean as well (?). It does seem quite cynical, though I think a lot of the references went over my head. Hijab Chique is cute though!

UmmLayla: I've been that one a lot of times too! Like when I decided to wear tshirt+hoodie+jilbab+jacket and slowly boiled to death. Or else wearing a floaty dress over jeans and getting caught in the rain. The joys, eh?

Muslimahlocs: wasalaam, great suggestion! Liking the name, by the ways!

Hana: LOL. Too true about the safety pins - the trick is to have a secret stash hidden somewhere in case of emergency...

Traveller: jazaks! You should try the astrohijab too by the way, it's futuristic and modest!

Qurrat said...

i love the shadi wala hijab.
so hilarious.

sillybachi said...

Great blog!

I LOVEEED the comic! So very true (and quite artistic).

I swear I have that plaid hijab somewhere (the reject hijab that doesn't match with anything because it was actually a part of some shalwar kameez...which it didn't match either).
I love hijabi humor :)

Khadija said...

love it!!!!!

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