The Nike Pro Hijab: Muslims speak out!
By Nikeh Gray
Nike has said it will launch their first Pro Hijab in spring, 2018, following consumer demand and an increase in the number of female Muslim athletes.
Pro Hijab is made from a mesh fabric, made up of tiny holes for optimal breathability. It is hoped that it will help sporty Muslim women keep fit.
The Nike Pro Hijab has received much praise, with some criticism. Critics claim that the Pro Hijab “normalises the oppression of women”, and some have even threatened to boycott Nike.
Jamal Mohammed, 24, sales assistant at Homebase in Haringey, north London, said it’s important that Muslim women cover their hair. The Hijab is “a symbol of modesty and no compromise that she is not willing to change her religious beliefs to fit into social norms”, he said.
“For example: western culture believes that a woman should look or dress a certain way. It is a sign of strength.”
Holloway Express was invited to a ‘Young Muslim Women’ Whatsapp group to discuss the release of this product. They asked to remain anonymous:
“Maria”, who asked for her name to be changed, a 20-year-old pharmacy student at UCL said: “The scarves that I wear to the gym don’t support me properly.
“The people in my spinning class see me fix my Hijab three or four times, so this will definitely make going to these classes easier.
“The Nike Pro Hijab makes me respect Nike more, they are showing support at a time when many Muslims don’t feel a lot of support.”
One woman commented: “As a sporty Hijabi, I’ve been using sport headscarves from EBay, it doesn’t need to be designer!”
Regarding the negative backlash, Mohammed said: “There isn’t a lot to say to people who are negative about the Pro Hijab.
“They should put themselves in the shoes of a Muslim woman for a day and see how it feels before making their own judgements in what they can or can not do.”
Last week, the European court of justice ruled that businesses are entitled to ban people from wearing all visible religious symbols, including the Hijab, at work. The move was welcomed by right-wing politicians.