World’s first hijabi supermodel Halima Aden chooses faith over fashion

Agencies
November 29, 2020

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Halima Aden, a model, is taking a step back from the fashion industry to focus on herself and her faith.

“If my hijab can’t be this visible — I’m not showing up,” Aden, 23, wrote on Instagram.

Aden, who was the first model to wear a hijab for the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition and walk the runway for labels like Yeezy, shared on her Instagram story this past week that she felt like she had compromised her religious values and beliefs in order to fit in to the fashion industry.

She alluded to being too scared to speak up when she was influenced to change the way she dressed, including how she wore her head scarf.

“Looking back now I did what I said I would never do. Which is compromise who I am in order to fit in,” Aden wrote on the social media platform. “Just remember they call it a ‘hijab journey’ for a reason and it is never too late to reinstate your boundaries.”

The Somali American model was born in a Kenyan refugee camp and first rose to fame in 2016 after competing in her hijab in the Miss Minnesota USA pageant. Since then, she’s been on the covers of American Vogue, Vogue Arabia, Elle and Allure.

There was, she said, struggle and discomfort that went into making many of those images a possibility. She also highlighted moments in which brands had instead covered her hair with pairs of jeans or other ornamental objects rather than her hijab and used heavy makeup on her when she would have preferred a more restrained look that aligned with her modest principles.

She cited confusion, a sense of rebellion and a lack of fellow Muslim representation in the industry as leading factors in her internal battle.

“The pressure was getting unbearable, and I’m sad to say I went through a period of resenting the hijab,” Aden wrote on Instagram.

She went on to write that the pandemic and a break from the industry had led her to realize where she felt she went wrong in her own hijab journey.

Muslim women who choose to don a head scarf often have deeply personal and dynamic relationships with their hijabs, and Aden was met with a wave of support from many who had similar experiences on Instagram and Twitter.

“Halima’s decision to step away from the modeling scene has just reinforced my beliefs,” Aminah Bakhtair, 19, who wrote on social media about her admiration for Aden, wrote in a direct message. “I feel proud of her for taking a stance that many would hesitate to take, and to take back what the Hijab truly means and stand up for the religion of Islam.”

The act of simply wearing a hijab has often been met with discrimination on both a social and bureaucratic level, particularly in Europe. France has banned the hijab in public schools and the public workforce. German chancellor Angela Merkel said in 2016 that full-face veils, sometimes worn by Muslim women as part of their hijab, should be banned.

In the United States, Muslim women have long reported instances of feeling as if they had been discriminated against for wearing their hijabs, and President Donald Trump’s ban on travel from several Muslim-majority countries is still in effect.

Asmaa Ali, 23, an observant hijab wearer for much of her life, has experienced Islamophobia both in person and online but said she felt inspired by Aden’s message and tweeted that she found the model’s story “beautiful.”

“The decision to take her hijab more seriously really inspired me to hold on to my faith and be unapologetic about my identity as a Black, Muslim woman,” Ali said. “I think the essence of what Halima was talking about is not necessarily that there’s a right way to wear a hijab or a wrong way to wear a hijab. I think the message is to stay true to yourself.”

Fellow hijabi models like Ikram Abdi Omar also weighed in on how Aden’s public revelation had impacted them.

“Honestly, Halima Aden’s insta story posts brought me to tears and I started looking back on my old pictures on Instagram and I miss that Ikram more than anything,” Abdi Omar shared on her Instagram story.

Rihanna, Gigi Hadid and Bella Hadid also reposted Aden’s story on their own Instagrams. Gigi Hadid wrote, “It is so important, as a hijabi or not, to self reflect and get back on track with what feels genuine to us — it’s the only way to feel truly fulfilled.”

Aden and her longtime agency, IMG Models, did not immediately respond to messages seeking comment. According to her stories on the platform, the model plans to stop doing runway shows and traveling for fashion season.

“I owe no one but Allah SWT,” she wrote — the letters stand for the Arabic phrase “Subhanahu wa ta’ala,” meant to glorify God when mentioning his name. “And y’all can literally kick rocks.”

Also Read: Hijabi Model Halima Adel makes Milan Fashion Week debut

 

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News Network
October 3,2022

Bengaluru, Oct 3: JD(S) leader H D Kumaraswamy on Monday said there is a big question on the ruling BJP's claims of "Acche Din" (good days), as he referred to RSS general secretary Dattatreya Hosabale' statement expressing concern over 'rising income inequality' and unemployment in the country.

The former Chief Minister, in a series of tweets, said the statement by a top leader of RSS, which is the ideological parent-organisation of the ruling party, holds mirror to the present condition in the country.

"BJP's mother-root, RSS' general secretary Dattatreya Hosabale’s statement that economic inequality, poverty and unemployment are very dangerous holds mirror to the present condition in India. Now, there are big questions on the claims of Acche Din," Kumaraswamy said.

Stating that one doesn’t require expertise to say who have flourished, who have lost everything in the last seven years of BJP rule, he said Hosabale himself has said that 20 crore people are below povertyline and four crore youth unemployed. "Then, who became rich in the last 7 years?" Hosabale on Sunday expressed concern over alleged rising income inequality and unemployment, asserting that poverty is posing as a "demon-like challenge in front of us."

He, however, has said several steps have been taken in the last few years to address this challenge.

Pointing out that malnutrition is rampant across the country and there is no drinking water in a number of villages, Kumaraswamy said, "When this is the truth, why is there fear to introspect 'Acche Din'? Hosabale has spoken the truth of what surveys also say."

"Acche Din" is the ruling BJP's slogan which has been used by the J P Nadda-led party and its leaders since the time the party came to power in 2014.

Warning not to be surprised if increasing economic inequality leads to "bigger rage", Kumaraswamy said the country getting caught in the web of ‘corporate world’ is not a good sign. "People’s frustration and impatience is increasing day by day. It is time the BJP woke up," added the son of former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda. 

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News Network
September 22,2022

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New Delhi, Sept 22: After meeting RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat on Thursday, Imam Umer Ahmed Ilyasi, the chief of All India Imam Organisation said that Mohan Bhagwat is 'Rashtra Pita (father of the nation) and a 'Rashtra Rishi' (sage of the nation).

Talking to IANS after the meeting, Ilyasi said: "Mohan Bhagwat visiting us is a privilege. Bhagwat came to Imam House for a meeting and he is our Rashtra Pita and Rashtra Rishi. The unity and integrity of the country should be maintained. We may all worship in a different way, but before that we all are human. We live in India and are Indians."

"India is on the verge of becoming Vishwa Guru and we all should strive for it," he said.

When asked if he referred to Bhagwat as 'Rashtra Pita', Ilyasi said, " Absolutely, he is 'Rashtra Pita' (father of the nation)."

Umar Ilyasi's brother Suhaib Ilyasi said, "Our father had an old relationship with the Sangh. Mohan Bhagwat had come to the mosque on the death anniversary of Jameel Ilyasi. It was a family programme and it should be seen in that context only."

Bhagwat had held discussions with Muslim intellectuals for strengthening communal harmony, Suhaib Ilyasi said.

The RSS Chief met Imam Umer Ahmed Ilyasi at his office in a mosque at Kasturba Gandhi (KG) marg in the national capital.

Providing details about the meeting, RSS prachar pramukh said, "RSS chief meets people from various sections of the society. It is a part of continuous conversation (Samvad) process."

Bhagwat, who has been trying to reach out to Muslims, in August too had met Ilyasi. Recently, Bhagwat had held discussions with Muslim intellectuals for strengthening communal harmony.

In the August 22 meet, Bhagwat had met former Chief Election Commissioner S Y Quraishi, former Delhi Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung, former Aligarh Musilm University vice chancellor L-G (retd) Zameer Uddin Shah, former MP Shahid Siddiqui and Industrialist and social worker Saeed Sherwani. 

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News Network
September 19,2022

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London Sept 19: Britain said farewell to Queen Elizabeth II on Monday at a state funeral attended by world leaders, before a historic last ceremonial journey through the streets of London packed with sorrowful mourners.

The funeral brought to an end 11 days of national mourning across the United Kingdom that has seen the personal sorrow of the royal family play out in the glare of intense international attention.

Huge crowds gathered in near silence to watch as the queen's flag-draped coffin, topped with the Imperial State Crown, her orb and sceptre, was carried slowly to a gun carriage from parliament's Westminster Hall where it had lain in state since Wednesday.

To the tune of pipes and drums, the gun carriage -- used at every state funeral since Queen Victoria's in 1901 -- was then drawn by 142 junior enlisted sailors in the Royal Navy to Westminster Abbey.

The thousand-year-old church's tenor bell tolled 96 times at one-minute intervals -- one for every year of her life -- stopping a minute before the service began at 11:00 am (1000 GMT).

In his funeral sermon, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby praised the queen's life of duty and service to the UK and Commonwealth.

"People of loving service are rare in any walk of life. Leaders of loving service are still rarer," he told the 2,000 guests, who included US President Joe Biden and Japan's reclusive Emperor Naruhito.

"But in all cases, those who serve will be loved and remembered," the Anglican leader added, before the coffin was borne on another procession towards her final resting place in Windsor Castle, west of London.

The longest-serving monarch in British history died at Balmoral, her Scottish Highland retreat, on September 8 after a year of declining health.

Her eldest son and successor, King Charles III, dressed in ceremonial military uniform, followed the solemn processions, alongside his three siblings.

Charles's eldest son Prince William accompanied them alongside William's estranged brother, Prince Harry, and other senior royals.

William's two eldest children, George and Charlotte, who are next in line to the throne, also walked behind the coffin inside the abbey.

Late Sunday, Charles, 73, and his wife, Queen Consort Camilla, said they had been "deeply touched" by the public's flood of messages.

"As we all prepare to say our last farewell, I wanted simply to take this opportunity to say thank you," he said.

Britain, a country much changed since the queen's coronation in the same abbey in 1953, has dug deep into its centuries of tradition to honour the only monarch that most of its people have ever known.

"It's once in a lifetime," said student Naomi Thompson, 22, camped out in the crowds at London's Hyde Park.

"It's a moment of history... She's everyone's granny," added engineer Alice Garret, 28.

Others unable to be in London gathered in cinemas and churches around England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to watch the service and procession on big screens.

Auto engineer Jamie Page, a 41-year-old former soldier, stood on Whitehall to observe the funeral procession, wearing his military medals from service in the Iraq war.

"Sixteen years old, I swore an oath of allegiance to the queen. She's been my boss. She means everything, she was like a gift from God," he said.

But on Charles, the oldest person yet to ascend the British throne, Page added: "Who knows, time will tell."

The funeral lasted just under an hour, brought to an end by a bugler playing "The Last Post", before two minutes of silence and the reworded national anthem, "God Save the King".

After an hour-long procession that was to go past Buckingham Palace, the coffin was to be taken west by road to Windsor Castle, where thousands had lined the route since early morning.

Some 6,000 military personnel have been drafted in to take part in proceedings in what Britain's highest-ranking military officer has called "our last duty for Her Majesty the Queen".

The queen will be buried alongside her father king George VI, her mother queen Elizabeth and sister princess Margaret, reuniting in death the family who once called themselves "us four".

The coffin of her husband, Prince Philip, who died last year aged 99, will also be transferred to lie alongside her.

Elizabeth's funeral could not be more different from Philip's at St George's Chapel, Windsor, in April 2021.

Coronavirus restrictions limited mourners to just 30, led by the queen, a solitary figure in mourning black and a matching facemask.

The contrast was profound on Monday, the abbey packed with dignitaries and some ordinary Britons who were honoured for their military or community service, especially during the Covid pandemic.

"You were fortunate to have had her for 70 years; we all were," Biden said on Sunday after signing a book of condolence. "The world is better for her."

In the abbey pews was Liz Truss, whom the queen appointed as the 15th British prime minister of her reign just two days before her death, in her last major ceremonial duty.

All of Truss's living predecessors were there plus her counterparts and representatives from the 14 Commonwealth countries outside Britain where Charles is also head of state.

Whether they remain constitutional monarchies or become republics is likely to be the defining feature of Charles's reign.

The queen's death has prompted deep reflection about the Britain she reigned over, the legacy of its past, its present state and what the future might hold, as well as the values of lifelong service and duty she came to represent during her 70-year reign.

Hundreds of thousands of people are estimated to have queued, sometimes for up to 25 hours and overnight, to file past the queen's coffin as it lay in state.

Chrissy Heerey, a serving member of the Royal Air Force who joined the marathon queue twice, was the last person through the doors and described the experience as "amazing".

"When they came to me and said, 'right, you're the last person', I said, really?!" she told AFP, before heading off to join the crowds for the coffin's procession through London.

Throughout the procession after the funeral, Big Ben, the giant bell atop the Elizabeth Tower at one end of the Houses of Parliament, tolled and military guns fired at one-minute intervals.

At Windsor, the Sebastopol Bell -- captured in Crimea in 1856 -- and the Curfew Tower Bell also sounded.

A vast television audience was expected to watch the funeral worldwide and live online, in a sign of the enduring fascination with the woman once described as "the last global monarch".

Those lining the streets of London -- already jammed at sunrise on Monday -- said they had to bear witness.

"I will talk about this moment to my children," said Jack Davies, 14, camped out for the procession with his parents at Hyde Park Corner, where the coffin will be transferred from the gun carriage for the drive to Windsor.

"I'll say: 'I was there!'"

At Windsor, the queen's crown, orb and sceptre will be removed and placed on the altar.

The most senior officer of the royal household, the lord chamberlain, breaks his "wand of office" and places it on the coffin, symbolising the end of her reign.

The lead-lined oak casket, draped with the queen's colours, will be lowered into the Royal Vault as a lone bagpiper plays a lament.

A private interment ceremony will take place at the adjoining King George VI Memorial Chapel at 1830 GMT.

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