“Fashion Police” And Freedom

(Source: Crescentproject.org article by Sarah Abdalla) At 22 years of age, most young women here in the U.S. are busy ending their undergraduate studies, entering careers, and finding their “true loves.” This is not the case for all women, however, especially for one 22-year-old Kurdish girl, from a western city of Iran.

Mahsa Amini was arrested in Tehran earlier this month by the “fashion police.” We often make “off the cuff” comments about the “fashion police” which is generally a casual and fun critique, referring to out-of-step clothing. However, among many women of the 1.8 billion Muslims in the world, not complying with fashion law is a serious offense. How serious?

I am certain Mahsa Amini started her day, September 13th, as any other day before she and her brother traveled from their hometown to the nation’s capital of Tehran. It was there that she was detained and beaten, according to eyewitness accounts. The offense? –not wearing her hijab appropriately. Mahsa’s mother insists that her daughter was wearing a long, modest robe as required. However, the seriousness of not wearing such clothing the right way earned Mahsa a fractured skull, coma, and eventually death.

Protests have broken out all over the world not only for this precious girl, whose life was tragically cut short, but the subjugation behind the issue of moral law tied to a head scarf.

What does this say to me, a former Muslim woman?

First — When Western high fashion appropriates hijabs as a mere accent piece, it makes light of and devalues the very real struggle of millions of women who are forced to wear hijabs or be punished.

Second — When I see Muslim women here in the U.S. wearing their hijabs, I see the beauty beneath the covering and the potential God has created them to discover.

Third — Today, I am an unashamed Christ-follower because he set me free — not from a scarf– but from my sin and made me a cherished daughter. I am not “shamed” or “righteous” because I wear or do not wear a covering, rather I am adorned by the majestic name of Jesus.

This week’s impassioned global focus will pass. The news stories and cameras will go away, but the struggle of Muslim women, especially those living in Muslim countries will not disappear any time soon. Because of these and many more reasons, my life’s mission is to mobilize as many Christian women as possible to forge life-giving friendships with Muslim women around them. Most of them are very curious about Christians but sadly, most have never met even one Christian woman.

We must do more than read the stories on social media and hear of the terrible things happening to women and little girls. I want to help you, your church, your group to take the hope of Christ confidently and appropriately where His light is so desperately needed—especially among Muslim women!