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Hijabi hip hop - Muslim dance trio smashing stereotypes

Amirah, Khadijah and Iman together form WMDP [YouTube screenshot]

Date of publication: 25 May, 2016

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Meet the female Muslim hip hop group who are setting the record straight about women of their faith using fast-paced moves to funky grooves
While WMDP may sound like something both dangerous and able to cause mass destruction, it is also the name of the Muslim hip hop trio who are blowing apart stereotypes about women of their faith through the medium of dance.

Formed in 2011 by US choreography Amirah Sackett, We're Muslim Don't Panic are setting teh record straight about Muslim women in their home country.

"I wanted to flip the script," Sackett told Bust Magazine.

"I wanted to educate others and reflect the beauty that I know and love in Muslim women. Yes, there are oppressed women in the Muslim world. Women are oppressed the world over. These are our mutual struggles."

The trio - composed of Iman, Amirah and Khadijah - show off their skills in popping and locking to hip hop beats, all the while dressed in traditional Muslim attire.

WMDP perform at the Sage Awards [Sage Awards/ YouTube]


"I am speaking in an American art form, which is hip-hop dance. Seeing an image of a fully clad Muslim woman and then making it powerful and beautiful, that was my goal," says Sackett to AJ+.

And it seems that their rythmic moves are having the desired effect.

"At one [WMDP] performance for a middle school audience, a girl screamed out 'You are beautiful!'" the dance choreographer recalls. "She saw us in abaya (women's dresses), niqab (face veils), and headscarves, and she loved us before we even moved. After the performance, she came on stage and hugged me, and told me she was from Saudi Arabia. She had seen the image of her family and country and she loved it. She had so much pride."

Despite being otherised by the media and hateful political campaigns, American Muslims - and women in particular - have come to play key roles within many areas of American life.

The efforts of these American women are thus an expression of how US Muslims are very much a part of the fabric and rich cultural landscape of American society.





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