San Francisco Museum to Exhibit ‘The Fashion of Islam’

Klavs Bo Christensen/Getty Images
Klavs Bo Christensen/Getty Images

Daniel Pipes, president of the Middle East Forum, talked with Breitbart News Daily SiriusXM host Raheem Kassam on Wednesday about San Francisco’s de Young museum’s decision to host  “The Fashion of Islam” as the first major show developed since the arrival of the museum’s new director, Max Hollein.

The show is set for the fall of 2018, per a report in the New York Times:

“There are probably people who don’t even think there is fashion in Islam,” Mr. Hollein said. “But if you look at Saudi Arabia, Dubai and Beirut, the fashion is really vibrant, and it can speak to larger political and social developments, cultural understanding and misunderstandings.”

Mr. Hollein’s idea is to approach the subject from different perspectives, examining how Islamic styles are shaped by seemingly polar opposites: religious beliefs, which seek to avoid any appearance of extravagance and arrogance, or calling attention to oneself, and global fashion trends.

“If it’s documentary, it’s perfectly valid,” said Pipes. “But if it’s promotional, if it’s celebratory, it’s a different story,” he added. Pipes and Kassam discussed how strict forms of Islamic dress mesh, or perhaps do not mesh, with western culture and the challenges, security-related and otherwise, they can present.

Pipes also said he does not believe being opposed to traditional Islamic dress makes one intolerant, adding, “I think that wearing head covering, face covering, even body covering can be done in two different ways. One is traditional, and the other is … I’d call it Islamist. There really are different ways of wearing the same attire.”

Pipes pointed out that while some cultures literally force women to dress completely covered, it is also possible to find women who wear traditional dress on some occasions, yet wear bikinis at the beach on others. Pipes expressed the notion that it can be acceptable as a fashion choice, but can also be part of a repressive ideology.

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