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Islamic Fashion & Art: Beauty of Modesty to Resist Islamophobia

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The current political and social situations have created heated relationships between several groups. The hatred against women, including immigrant and Muslim women, has been too visible that many people try to relieve the issue by humanizing Islamic culture through fashion and art, in order to open the world's perspective towards Islam.

Humanizing the Islamic culture does not mean to clandestinely spread the religious teachings, but rather to make people, particularly the non-Muslims to understand the other side of Islam through art and fashion. Though the ones who support Islamophobic views might be skeptical to see this idea, it is not impossible to start.

According to Guardian, an Institute of Arab and Islamic art is going to open in Manhattan under the plan of Qatar's Sheikh Mohammed Rashid Al-Thani. The purpose of the art gallery is to "challenge certain stereotypes and misconceptions that hinder cross-cultural understanding," Al-Thani admitted.

The Islamic art is described by BBC as the expression of essence and meaning of the world rather than the earthly form. The art is not limited to the religious art but includes the artistic traditions. It features geometrical patterns and finds writings and books as a high art form.

Besides through arts, to communicate the message across cultures can be done through fashion. Islamic fashion, notably worn by Muslim women, often seen as a form of expression by the Western culture. But actually, there is a stronger fundamental beyond that, which is a form of modesty.

In a piece of writing by ORANGE Magazine, some Muslim women expressed that covering up is a form of modesty, where they openly feel comfortable to keep their feminine beauty for their significant others and it is liberating for them. Some also express that it is a part of their identity and they are proud to wear it as a self-expression. Muslim women also find that being able to choose to whom they share their bodies are empowering rather than oppressing.

A Muslim fashion designer from Sweden, Iman Aldebe, aims to fill the gaps where Muslim women often cannot fill. According to Al Jazeera, Aldebe decided to adjust the way she wears her headscarf. She admitted that she wants to eliminate the prejudice towards Islam through fashion and challenge the misconception of oppressed Muslim women.

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