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Unisex Hijab Sold by Italian Fashion Brand Sparks Controversy Online

Unisex Hijab Sold by Italian Fashion Brand Sparks Controversy Online

Global fashion brand United Colors of Benetton has launched a new range of the traditional Islamic headwear: a unisex hijab in collaboration with Italian rapper of Tunisian origin, Ghali Amdouni. 

Global fashion brand United Colors of Benetton has launched a new range of the traditional Islamic headwear: a unisex hijab in collaboration with Italian rapper of Tunisian origin, Ghali Amdouni. 

Followers of Islam, both men and women, are instructed to observe modesty in their dress and behaviour. But the hijab is a headscarf worn solely by Muslim women as part of their religious belief. So the product, currently priced at £29.95 and available in a range of colours, has rightly seen backlash by the Muslim community on social media platforms.

Ghali Amdouni reportedly said: ”The hijab is a unique garment that I wanted very much. There was no resistance from the company to include it in the collection. When I was a child, I was bullied at school, there was no one to represent me, while now it is normality.

The rapper added, ”I am tired of hearing how everything Arab or Tunisian is associated to something negative. When I was little, my mother was afraid that I would go out with my Arab companions, she preferred that I have Italian friends. Now I think it is important to say that this diversity is an added value, it is what makes me unique.”

The new innovation received a mix of praise and concern on Twitter, with various users taking it as an opportunity to criticize the hijab itself:

Other responses online came from feminist pages who took this as an opportunity to hit back at men who fetishize the hijab and niqab:

In 2016 a movement began called Men In Hijab in Iran, where males would wear the item to show solidarity with their wives and other female relatives in order to seek an end to the requirement of wearing a hijab in Iranian public space.

Ghali was born in Milan to Tunisian parents and went on to be one of Italy’s biggest rap stars. United Colors of Benetton has been approached for comment.

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