Imaan Ali, a Norwegian-born Iraqi blogger, is behind The Hijablog which she started in 2012 after a brief blogging experience in 2008. Her blog has attracted nearly 70,000 people on Facebook and over 10,000 followers on Instagram.
Ali is based in Ann Arbor, Mich., where she is a doctoral candidate in political science and an instructor at the University of Michigan. She describes herself as an activist and identifies herself on her blog as mainly concerned with issues pertaining to Arab politics, society, culture, Islam and women’s rights.
Her followers go well beyond other Muslim women. She said she has also a “lot of non-Muslim” viewers and international media that pay attention to her work as a “fashion stylist,” as she describes herself.
Muslim fashion leaders may be jolting popular stereotypes of passivity and submission that are tied to clothing that appears uniform, traditional and identity-concealing. Ninety-two percent of Muslim female respondents believed that Muslim fashion trends can lead to a positive change in the way they are perceived, according to a survey released in July by the Women’s Islamic Initiative in Spirituality and Equality, a program of the New York-based American Society for Muslim Advancement.