A significant event for the public space of Russia took place this week – one of the most popular clothing chains, Gloria Jeans, issued an advertisement for its products with a hijab model.
“We have a multinational country, and by the appearance of the hijab girl in the campaign, we wanted to pay respect to those who profess Islam, as well as to make it clear that we create clothes for everyone,” said company founder Vladimir Melnikov . And this name, as well as the name of this brand to Muslims living in the midst of Islamophobia, should be remembered as rare and valuable exceptions – to include them in a kind of list of “friends of Islam.”
And the fact that Muslims in Russia live in the midst of Islamophobia has already shown that this is an exception to the rule by the reaction of clothing buyers to this advertisement.
However, one should not be deceived – such a reaction could take place not only in Russia, but also in many other countries – both the West and, unfortunately, many Muslims who were de-Islamized. However, if the conversation with the latter is separate, then as far as the former are concerned, the Muslims of Russia have one difference from them and one trump card, which must be understood and used.
Unlike any France or Poland, most Muslims did not “come to Russia” in Russia – they live on the lands of their ancestors, included in the Russian state, or moved from them to other parts of their country by birthright. And if its other inhabitants do not want Muslims to live next to them, it would be logical for them to separate themselves from these territories by the state border.
But insofar as at least 7 republics of titular Muslim peoples continue to be part of Russia (not counting the historical lands of Muslims like Siberia, the Kuban, etc.), the hijab in the images of Russian advertising has the same right to presence as, say, the Russian kokoshnik.