Outlines Review: Women In Black Episode 2

I’ve just watched the latest episode of Women In Black.

It was set in Dubai. Subhana Allah it was dreadful. Lots of shopping, lots and lots and lots of it.

Any spirituality? Insight has to how being interested in fashion fits into your religious life?
No. There were shots of the outsides of mosques but nothing more then that. They might as well have just been pretty buildings.

Which is odd when you consider that if I had a pound for everytime she said “Muslim women”, I would be able to do quite a bit of shopping myself.

Of all the various women she interviewed she didn’t ask a single question related to Islam. Sure the wearing of the abaya and shayla were touched upon, but that is just seen a ‘culture thing’. Besides we were shown lots of sparkly abayas and how to attract attention while wearing them. As that is such a noble quality in Islam. Likewise dating via bluetooth and Brazilian waxes (we are told again that body hair removal is an obsession for Muslim women).

In my last review I mentioned that a lot of Arab culture was on show. This episode, we find out that Arab culture is bad and Arab traditions too. They hold you back and stop you being liberated and making lots of money like Western people. As those are the ideals we should be following and all of the Middle East should be like Dubai. In fact the presenter states that “Dubai might come as a shock if you’ve come from the drabber parts of the Middle East”.

After viewing endless upper class excess during the programme, drab doesn’t seem too bad to me. I’d rather go to the Ummayyd Mosque then any shopping mall. To me that’s what being a Muslim women is about. Alhamdulilah, I can enjoy the halal things in life but I know that is not the purpose of my existence, worshipping Allah the Almighty is, and that really is a Muslim thing.

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8 Responses

  1. Oooooooooooh, really good one. I’ll post both of these for Monday and add some thoughts I had while watching YouTube clips of this blather.

  2. No offense to any gulf Arabs who read this, but I just can’t even get interested in visiting the Gulf. It just seems like such a materialistic area with little ethos binding it. The levant, North Africa, Turkey, South Asia, sure, but KSA/Dubai/Kuwait? Not so much.

  3. Salaam ‘Alaikum

    I think Dubai is so extreme, and so far from … anything real. Not the whole of it — I know some very good Muslims who live in Dubai and aren’t part of the culture of excessive consumption. But it is the Gulf Arabs who dominate now the … culture of … consumption and stuff here. The Egyptians may make the movies and act in them, but everything here is so Gulf oriented. (Not only the media, but the fact that Jordan is the summer home for many Gulf people). What you are describing is so normal to me. I forget what it is like to be shocked by it, b/c it’s everyday life here and so I am now merely dismayed by it and living around it. I’m actually mildly surprised to remember that people associate this with “Islam” (wrongly), b/c I live here and see how far from Islam it all really is. I am so tired of the culture.

  4. Salaam Alaikum,

    Dave – I’ve heard Oman is pretty lovely and obviously I want to go to KSA one day to do Hajj. As for Dubai, I don’t think so. I’d take Damascus any day!

    Umm Zaid (with the not real email but I’ll let you off because it made me smile) – Muslims have a very strange relationship with culture. You’re right about the ones who fail to see where culture ends and Islam begins.

    Equally odd are those who claim that Muslims have can no culture whatsoever and view it as a swear word. Like the man who walked out of our wedding party when the men (and only the men) began to do the dabke. It wasn’t the music he objected to, but the act of traditional dancing. Or, equally strange was the man who claimed that Muslims should view themselves as Muslim only and not as any nationality and I could consider myself ‘non-arab’, but nothing more then that. Or those who think it’s ok to name your child a standard Arab or Desi name, but not an English one.

    Which epitomises the problem I have with the ‘no-culture crew’, you just end up with some syncretic form of Arab or Pakistani culture anyway.

    Back to the documentary, in my review, I was carful not to pick at any of the women featured in particular, as if they weren’t asked about their spirituality, how could they talk about it?

  5. The programme wasnt about “Islam” but life in Dubai for women. To divorce culture from islam would not be a realistic portrayal of most Muslims.

    “Alhamdulilah, I can enjoy the halal things in life but I know that is not the purpose of my existence, worshipping Allah the Almighty is, and that really is a Muslim thing”

    Here we go again with a self -righteous attitude, implying that others are not as good muslim as you are, feeling pleased with yourself….

  6. Salaam Alaikum,

    The programme did divorce Islam from culture as it was all culture and no Islam. The main point of the review was that there was virtually no mention of Islam at all. We learnt nothing about these women’s religious beliefs, just the clothes that they wore and the money they spent.

    The paragraph that you have quoted was not me being ‘self righteous’, just myself truly reflecting on one of the most beautiful parts of being a Muslim.

  7. As Salaamu Alaikum, I am a School Social Worker however, I am very interested in the fashion industry. I have a good eye for color and style, could you please tell me how can a Muslim woman get into the industry in Dubai. Also, I would like to know if any of the designer would come to America and be willing to have a Fashion show with some African-American Muslim designers. I must say we have been designing Muslim wear since 1930 and we have some excellent designers. I would like to bring East and West together for a Islamic Fashion Show that the world would notice.
    Swiyyah

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