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Nike unveils hijab for independent women so they can exercise in the way society expects

I heard news about this a few days back on WordPress and the rest of the web, I just haven’t been round to posting about it. Funnily enough one reason is that I have been doing a lot more running. I could have done with a hijab this afternoon in the cold wind, although it sure would look odd on a male atheist.

Little disappoints me more than the human drive to worship. To take pride in a God so absent and without leadership that we have multiple variations in which to praise the multiple Gods we are told of. I clicked The Independent’s link on the story which can be read here.  It starts with the following:

Designed and tested by figure skater Zahra Lari and weight-lifter Amna Al Haddad, the Nike Pro Hijab is a piece of high-performance sportswear designed to dissolve the barriers that prevent Muslim women from keeping fit.

Would ‘tested’ be appropriate here for a weightlifter? A swimmer, yes. I struggle to see how a hijab would effect the performance of a weightlifter, heck, I am not a weightlifter so I will leave that there. I do not feel sorry for the women with such ‘barriers’. Religious barriers are often imaginary ones, making us go about life in a much more difficult fashion. There is nothing finer than coming to this realization, going from A to B in life without having to ask Z and every letter in between for permission. For women that do genuinely need to cover up to prevent a beating, I have strong empathy. I imagine that Nike isn’t promoting in such oppressive regimes, more the western nations where the hijab is a choice and female exercise is a human right.

Amna has noticed a lot of criticism from the promotion, some I admittedly chuckled at, others were a little more offensive. She said:

With the Nike Pro Hijab Launch, I do realise there is a lot of mixed reactions as to why Nike decided to create such a product ‘now.’

From my perspective as a former athlete who competed in Hijab, in the past, the big brands didn’t see the need or market for it as it was not ‘popular’ and it was unheard of to see women train, exercise and compete in hijab.

It is a recent phenomenon where more women have expressed a need for it and more professional athletes have fought for rights to compete with a headscarf, and have an equal playing field. We made it big in the news, we couldn’t be ignored.

Do Muslims feel Nike made the move out of compassion for isolated Muslims, or for profit? Maybe both, however I image those of the faith are not stressing over the question. Similar to the time Subway announced that they would serve halal meat. Was it an agenda for Subway to fire the west into Islamification? Probably not. Was it a wise move for Subway to make a few more pennies? Definitely. Companies can profit from the imaginary ‘need’ of consumers, not able to make a purchase until it is one society would be happy with.

One person that agreed with Amna said ‘Every woman deserves the right to choose what she wants to wear and it’s been really hard for those choosing hijab to find suitable clothing. This is the step in the right direction so that ALL women are included‘.

Every woman does deserve the right to choose what she wants to wear. However if she has to wait for a company to create a product before getting on with life, does she exercise that right?



3 replies »

  1. Interesting points! And it is true that maybe a lot of companies do make these kinds of things possibly for more profit – but then, it’s not like the consumers are complaining that there’s a broader range of choice xD
    I also wanted to point out that sometimes these may not be completely related to religion. People often have different lifestyles because of culture, or cultural expectations, and it’s not a bad thing for companies to be more culturally aware. I mean, seeing as you travel a lot, you’re probably one of the people more sensitive to this kind of thing. I’m just saying we shouldn’t slam people for doing things just because we’re not as familiar with them, even if those actions are based off of religions or beliefs that we disagree with.
    But this post does make you think about it. I appreciate it (:

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the input 🙂 I agree that it isn’t always down to religion, like you say it could be cultural expectations. My aim is to try to speak to anyone that has such cultural and religious expectations and tell them they don’t have to do as they are told, as long as the alternative is moral. If they want to, fine, but I feel many expectations are purely built on superstition, and can make life much more difficult!


      • Only MY Opinion

        Oh, Sam, you leave yourself open to so many arguments I don’t know where to start. So I’ll start with your reply to scratchedinstone. But first, I must remind you, anything I write is only MY opinion, and you need not take any heed of it. I just like to hear myself talk. But even though what I am about to write is only an opinion based on how I felt as I was reading your blog (above), those feelings were real for me. Just as I am sure many women, especially those in Muslim countries, and anywhere women are kept under a man’s thumb through religion, culture, or just a desire to be someplace they feel they can be free, do things they cannot do where they presently are.

        You “TELL THEM they don’t have to do as they are told.” without considering the consequences of what can happen if they listen to you. They can be stoned to death, sold as slaves, murdered by their fathers or husbands at no consequence to the male, they can be battered and beaten, have their children taken away from them, exiled from their own homes. Or they can “just be told” they are not allowed out of the house, and not have any friends in to visit, for varying lengths of time. These things and more YOU, Sam, can be responsible for, just by “telling them” they don’t have to do what they are told. You are contradicting yourself in the self-same sentence. If they don’t have to do what they are told, why should they listen to anything you “tell” them. Do you get what I am saying?

        I mean, you are right in what you say, they don’t have to do what they are told, but if they don’t, they have to be ready to face the consequences, while you sit back in your ivory tower telling yourself you’ve done your good deed for the day.

        Okay, I’m off to a good start, let’s see what else I find distasteful about your reply. “as long as the alternative is ‘moral.’ First of all, what do you mean by “moral.” Good? Who says what is good for a woman wearing a hijab? Not her! That’s for damn sure. And not you, you’re a million miles away in a land they call paradise, not knowing it’s a festering hell-hole of a different kind. “as long as the ‘alternative’ is moral.” What alternative? Whose alternative? And why should it have to be moral? Is ‘moral’ a homeowner shooting a young Japanese student dead for walking up his front sidewalk? The guy never even thought to ask the student what he wanted, why he was approaching the house, no kind of weapon or other threat visible except that the kid was Japanese? Forget moral, because it was “legal” for him to do it, so he did it. He killed a human being because he could, and he got away with it because the law said he could do it. Moral? There’s a word I never thought I would hear an atheist say. Morals are for religious folk. Responsibilities are for atheists, self-considered responsibilities. You do what is right for you, because you feel in your gut it’s the responsible thing to do. Moral? I think I just died and went back to being Christian.

        All the above from a three-sentence reply to someone who made a comment about your blog, and half-assed agreed with you. I can hear the hesitation in his voice, questioning whether he should even make a comment, but he wants to, because he’s doing some kind of school project by writing a blog and commenting on other people’s blogs.
        Let’s look at his comment to me on a blog titled “The Nuclear Family” wherein I suggest saving the world by breaking up the nuclear family: scratchedinstone comments:

        March 15, 2017 at 2:47 am.
        Hey, I just found your blog from another site. Looks interesting and seems to give quite a bit to think about. Looking forward to reading more.

        And then there is my answer to him: rawgod replies:

        March 15, 2017 at 5:53 am
        Hi SiS,
        Thank you very much for finding my blog interesting and thought-provoking. Hope I can keep my blog up to that standard. Feel free to write anytime. I love challenges (questions) because they make me think harder too.

        Now let’s compare SiS’s answeer to each of us. Your blog is “Interesting.” Mine is also “interesting.” Yet he says more to you than to me, but in the end I think he is kinder to me. Yet we both start by thanking him for making a comment on our respective sites. Then he gives you an alternative reason for women to wear hijabs; your topic is within the borders of his imagination. My topic is totally outside his imagination, he probably can’t even wrap his mind around my words. You also insult him and through him all religious people everywhere, by saying that their beliefs are nothing but superstition. That’s not easy to hear, but it provokes anger before it provokes thought. I, on the other hand, invite him to ask more questions.Still, our replies are somewhat similar. We probably have more in common with each other than either of us has with him, But he is going to a religious school. I followed him there one day, and that’s where I found out he was doing this project for school, I guess something like finding out about atheism, and learning the tricks that we use to lure young boys into the sex trade. I hope we did a good job of that.

        Take care,


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