Geller’s denunciations fail to deter organiser of ‘American hijab’ design contest

Seeking to make the Muslim headscarf speak to American fashion, a Muslim woman is championing a contest to encourage designers to create an American style of hijab, to the fury of Islamophobes.

“What we have here today is most women wearing an Arab-style scarf on top of American-style outfits,” Shaz Kaiseruddin, 31, told Chicago Tribune on Thursday, January 10. “Arabs have their style of hijab, Malaysians have theirs, Indians have theirs, but we haven’t come up with a Western or American-looking style.”

Kaiseruddin, a human rights attorney from Wilmette, has launched a contest titled “American Hijab Design Contest” to encourage designers to create an American-style hijab. “We’re looking for our nation’s most creative designers to create a truly American hijab style that speaks to today’s American fashion,” the contest’s website says.

Entries must come from people inside the United States. So far, 70 participants have applied for the contest at

Kaiseruddin, who has been wearing hijab since she was 11, says she wants the Muslim headscarf be as American as blue jeans. “I’m hoping to cultivate the creation of a cutting-edge, very American hijab style.”

But the hijab contest has invited the ire of Islamophobes in the United States. This is “norming the sharia,” Islamophobic blogger Pamela Geller wrote on her blog. “More cultural jihad, now using fashion as the conduit to norming sharia,” she said. “Trying to make the hideous fashionable, the hijab, niqab, etc as ‘covered chic’.”

Geller has championed a series of ad campaigns linking Islam with terrorism and Jihad with savagery.

OnIslam, 10 January 2013