Canadian Muslim hipsters defy stereotypes

MONTREAL – They’re young, powerful, educated, stylish and they wear a hijab.

The “Mipsterz” trend first started with a group of young Muslims trying to prove that it’s possible to be hip and stylish, while still covering up.

They posted a video where hijabis from across North America proudly show off their unique style while sticking to their Islamic principals.

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Their aim is to to break down the stereotype of the hijab as a symbol of oppression.

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“We want people to see Muslims the way we see ourselves, so we’re putting out our own narratives,” Toronto Mipster Aminah Mahmood explained.

In Montreal, 23-year-old Dalila Awada identifies herself with the Mipster movement.

She has been wearing the headscarf for 10 years, not by force, but by choice.

“I can relate with those girls because of their sense of fashion,” she said.

“The way they’re having fun, they’re colourful, and at the same time, they’re not trying to fit in any category but are just being themselves.”

Mipsters say the problem is that the hijab is constantly misunderstood, especially in Quebec.

“We always have to explain and repeat that we are not oppressed, and we are very happy with the veil,” Awada told Global News.

“Still people don’t believe you.”

The Mipsterz trend has received it’s fair share of criticism online.

Many commentators point out that the girls are hypocritical and aren’t dressed the way Muslims “should” dress, but some experts argue the movement is a powerful way for Muslim women to reclaim their culture.

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“I think we’ve been fed so many stereotypical images of what women in hijab “should” be like,” explained Mcgill University professor Vrinda Narain.

“This is a way for them to fight back.”

A message that may take years to convey but for the Mipsterz, it’s a fight worth battling.

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