Every time my social media and day-to-day experiences as a Muslim in the USA becomes more and more saturated with hate, I feel the need to open the blog back up for questions about a topic that is clearly time after time misrepresented in the media: Islam. And this time, it is more than just right-wing, conservative news outlets *cough* Fox News *cough*, so that's worrisome.

Update: Let me be quite clear, I am not apologizing for anything. At. All. But, I do see the responsibility, as someone who manages an online platform, in using this space in order to counter what is I think is being falsely conveyed in the media. I'm doing it now as a Muslim, and I did it before as someone in solidarity with Mizzou.
The one thing I'm not doing is apologizing. For myself or for my faith.
Now let's get back to this.
Islam, Muslims, ISIS, Islam Q&A, Paris Attacks, Paris terrorism, Islam fashion
Photo: Captured by Felton Kiser for Choices Clothing

I'll keep this post short and sweet,* because if I start a rant on how I feel right now I don't foresee an end. But before you do submit, please do peruse through the following FAQ to see if your question has not already been answered.

*update: thank you to the person who used the anonymous ask to correct my grammar. Haha ya'll are ridiculous.

If none of the above posts seemed to help clarify what is on your mind, then please feel free to drop us (the blog & I) a line (p.s. the question form is anonymous!) and I'll try my best to get you an answer as soon as possible.**

**Please note that I do run on Persian time, meaning that everything will happen much later than when I say I will get things done, but you already knew that.

The anonymous form is here and is also reproduced below for your convenience. 

Create your own user feedback survey


~P.S. please share, because with knowledge comes understanding and love~


"We are obliged to act in times of injustice; understanding that these incidents are not isolated, but an outburst of systemic racism in public and private academic institutions, it is our duty to confront the administrations of these institutions."
 – National Black Student Caucus
In the past few weeks, black (primarily female and queer) students at the University of Missouri (Mizzou) have, to be blunt, successfully shut sh*t down. While a culture of racial intolerance historically has, and continues to, poison campuses nation-wide (including here at the University of Chicago), black students at Mizzou decided they're sort of tired of dealing with an unresponsive administration that perpetuates this culture of hate through its silence. And so, they quite simply shut it down. Here are their demands.
But after a hunger strike and forcing the president of the University to resign, black student activists on campus were met with anonymous death threats and chased and harassed by white supremacists.

Activists from the Concerned Student 1950 group at the University of Missouri// photo via The Black Tribune
The recent incidents at Mizzou--the culture of hate, the protests of black students, and the responses of white terrorists--should not be seen as isolated or even surprising. They are quite clearly the manifestation of a civil rights movement that is not over, reparations that have not been paid, justice that has not been served, and a system that is still structured to privilege white people over blacks and people of color.

We are not in a post-racial nation/world. 

The KKK has not disappeared. It has been institutionalized: blue uniforms are the new white. This year alone more black people have been killed by police than at the height of lynching in the 1920s. Black students have been threatened to be shot on sight. On campuses around the country. Yes, all lives matter, but it's just that the system (and those complicit within it) seems to forget that fact when it comes down to the lives of black people. (Or else it wouldn't have created a culture where a black person is killed every 28 hours in the United States by police, security guards, or vigilantes, and is still vicitm-blamed.) (Or not deeming threats from white students seriously--why did it take so long for law enforcement to respond to the death threats at Mizzou and other universities? Would that have changed if a Muslim was making threats against white people?)

This is systematic. This is calculated. Here are the details.

blacklivesmatter, mizzou, chicago, protest, socialism

As online influencers, we have a responsibility to speak out on injustice, no matter the niche that you occupy or way you identify. Institutions of racism permeate every part of the system you occupy. This is relevant to fashion. Relevant to food. Relevant to blogging.

As Muslims, we are obligated by our faith to stand up for justice unconditionally. To quote--we are required to be “persistently standing firm in justice...even if it be against yourselves or parents and relatives” (Qur'an 4:135).

As feminists, we fight for our sisters who are forced to endure the heaviest weights of the patriarchy: black women and trans black women.

As people of color, we must understand that our liberation is fully and intimately dependent on the liberation of black people. Our chains may differ, but our oppressors are the same.

As individuals living in the United States, if we are not fighting injustice, we are complicit in it.

The civil rights movement is not over. We are in it.
Your move.

In solidarity,
<(') Hoda

P.S. Here is recommended reading for how to be a good ally. And video.


Call me biased, but I'm sort of obsessed with the Iranian aesthetic. Something about lightly patterned geometry (hint hint where I get my wardrobe inspiration from), warm lighting, and deep and rich colors that are just so aesthetically pleasing, provoking, and calming all at the same time. Can't help but being nostalgic about my last summer soaking up the sun and emotions of the motherland (and significant progress on my upcoming Tehran Streetstyle book!).
It doesn't help that I've been glued to my books this past week, frantically trying to catch up on schoolwork in anticipation of upcoming midterms.

Whether it just dreaming of being back in Iran or trying to procrastinate in my studies (most likely a combination of the two), I've been constantly scrolling through the insta galleries of a few of my favorite accounts, and thought that it would be nice to share a major source of inspiration for me.
I hope you enjoy them, too.

1. Maedeh Aminfar | @maedehaf

(first image in this post is also from this account)

2. Sepideh Farvardin | @sepidehfarvardin

3. Farzader | @farzader

4. Donya Joshani | @donnnya

5. Ali Mohagheghi | @alimohagheghi

6. The Tehran Times | @TheTehranTimes

Brb. Got to go seriously study step up my insta game~


-Help me share the work of these talented Iranian artists! Spread the love-


Remember about 50 years ago when I opened up my site for questions?
Anyway, trying to be a semi-responsible blogger and eventually finishing going through the questions you've left me, hopefully before the internet becomes obsolete and I don't have the patience to switch to whatever will replace it and will not know what to do with my life anymore because my existence is heavily reliant on it.

But back to the questions.

Is it possible to be a Muslim Feminist? How do these beliefs fit together?

Well, as a Muslim Feminist,


TO: Those trying to liberate me from my headscarf. Those who place borders around their solidarity work. Those who are single-issue activists. Those who think Muslims can't be feminists.

1. You're probably referring to the fact that I cover my hair. (which is apparently somehow oppressive now). Not respecting MY CHOICE to dress as I wish is succumbing to the same patriarchal rhetoric that the fraternity at my/all uni(s) use(s) to justify their sexual harassment towards girls wearing, well, literally anything. #notcool.

2. Speaking of how I dress. The Hijab (headcovering) is not even oppressive. It's empowering. For me, it's a feminist symbol itself. It is a symbol against materialism and against sexualization of women's bodies. Although please note--I protest state-sanction mandatory veiling. Just like I protest state-sanctioned anti-burqa laws in France. Feminism is about our choice to choose what we wear, not about state control over our bodies and choices. (We usually would file that under patriarchy).

3. Same with Islam as a whole. Our religion is way more pro-women than what is portrayed in the media. (Pro-tip: never listen to the media). The introduction of Islam actually raised the standard of living for women, banning the cultural practice of killing female-born children and gave women the rigth to own land and vote, among other advances. The patriarchy is a global institution of repression and was present in the Middle East before Islam. Don't equate a global problem with my belief system.

4. "White feminism" stay away. We don't need your saving or your naked bodies (I'm looking at you, "feminist" activists protesting Mosques, topless) to smash the patriarchy or drink male tears. Actually, it's for your own good--we wouldn't want stray glass from the glass ceilings we're breaking to cut all that exposed skin you're using to try to emancipate us from ourselves.
We're down with white allies and feminists who are white, but not an exclusive brand of feminism that excludes non-hetro-cis-white women (black women & women of color, queer & trans women, Muslim women, etc). Real feminism is more than just closing the wage gap for white women.

Much love & solidarity,
<(') Hoda

P.S. Two days ago we shut down all roads to leading to an international police conference in order to make a statement against police violence. Over 66 black and brown youth were arrested. Please donate to the bail fund. Thank you so much Black Youth Power 100 (BYP100) for letting me be a part of this amazing action.

P.P.S. Any other questions?

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Palestinians clearly have nailed the whole fashion thing. (You've probably already seen their beautiful embroidery designs culturally appropriated by Urban Outfitters). And of course, we've already established that women are bad-ass. This is what happens when you put them together~

Palestinians are currently experiencing escalating violence from the Israeli military (yes, more than usual). Less than a month ago Hadeel Hashlamon, a 19 year old female college student, was shot multiple times at an Israeli checkpoint in Hebron. She was left to bleed on the ground before Israeli soldiers later dragged her body away (but not before taking naked pictures of her and posting all over social media). 

Even more recently (as in, yesterday and these past several weeks), there have been countless killings of young and old Palestinians protesting their lack of human rights living under the Israeli Apartheid regime. (Want a bit of background on what's going on? Here is a quick 101 on the issue!) 

In solidarity with those killed and in honor of International Day of Action today, we're sharing 4 beautiful ethical brands that showcase Palestinian art and culture and support struggling Palestinian women (most of whom are living in inadequate refugee camps).
(Also your wardrobe will thank you later)

1. WOMEN IN HEBRON | is a non-profit, fair trade cooperative located in "the heart of The Old City" and run by empowered Palestinian women striving to provide for their families and communities. In their own words:
"Our work is based on the idea that developing Palestinian handicrafts is more than just an income-generating project. It is in of itself an act of community-strengthening, of honoring the role of women in our society, and a means to show sumud – steadfastness – in the face of the occupation of Palestine and the harm it has done to the people of Hebron."
So basically, long story short—they are totally rad. Not to mention that Palestinian embroidery is incredibly intricate, beautiful, and all done by hand. Usually, this is the recipe that creates quite the dent in your wallet, but at Women in Hebron, this is not the case. From jewelry to backpacks to carpets, their products are incredibly affordable for most budgets (just $10 for a "Women Can Do Anything" Bag!? *swoon*). Also bonus points for the feminist paraphernalia.

2. ALL THINGS MOCHI | founder and designer Ayah Tabari, who was born and raised in Palestine, travels the world working with impoverished embroidery communities in order to share their tradition and handicraft on a global scale while simultaneously creating jobs for women trying to bring themselves out of poverty. Each piece from her Palestinian line embodies bright and colorful traditional Palestinian embroidery in east-meets-west-yet-not-disgustingly-orientalist cuts and shapes. Although her pieces tend to sit at the higher-end of the price range, Tabari’s work is ethically produced and works to raise the standard of living and well-being of struggling Palestinian women. So like, it’s pretty worth it.

3. PALESTYLE | in 2009 Zeina Chaaban visited the Al Baqaa refugee camp in Jordan where more than 100,000 refugees were living in an area less than .4 square miles:
“…they were living on top of each other with no community infrastructure, lots of basic necessities missing such as electricity and waste management, and not job opportunities at all, even though they were educated.” (Arabian Business)
That same year Chaaban launched Palestyle with the intention of creating a luxury brand that would not only create job opportunities for women in the camp (let’s just say they didn’t have the highest employment rate in the world) but also showcase that Palestinian aesthetic that everyone so likes to appropriate.
Proceeds from Palestyle also go back into the camp in the form of renovation projects: recently they’ve been working on expanding the availability of clean water for the refugees and installed a water pumping system at the camp’s school, among other developments.

4. IBRA WA KHAYT | started by a group of feisty Palestinian ladies, Ibra wa Khayt (meaning Needle & Thread) is all about intimately connecting Palestinian embroidery to their local origins and the greater resistance movement:
"Each piece of embroidery tells a story. These pieces are handmade, and have been revived from older pieces that represent various phases of our tumultous history and a changing, yet resilient cultural heritage. They tell the story of Occupation, dispossession, and the Palestinian Diaspora. By that same token, they tell the stories of celebration of life and the rich history of the villages they come from." 
The pair of designers travel to villages and refugee camps around Palestine to bring alive various local narratives through their distinct fabrics and embroidery styles and patterns which they incorporate into their clothing.  Every thobe, skirt, and pair of pants at Ibra Wa Khayt is totally unique. Just like the stories they tell and the women behind them. 

Fashion can be a powerful tool of self-expression, empowerment, and social change. What does your clothes say about what you support? 


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