My name is Javed, but you can call me HijabMan. I sell t-shirts aimed at breaking stereotypes and spreading love and understanding between people. The hateful rhetoric we hear from extremists of all kinds is aimed at dividing us. This is my humble attempt at making the world a better place.
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A Little History:
I started the hijabman.com blog at the age of 14 before they were called blogs. It documented my struggles as an American Muslim teen of Pakistani descent. After college (and 9/11) my mother called and encouraged me to make and sell t-shirts with slogans I had been talking to her about. The Islamic Society of North America convention was coming up, and my mother and brother loaned me some money.
Scared out of my wits, I flew to Chicago with two big suitcases full of shirts, stood on my table, and transformed into a selling machine--it was like I was another person. There I was, a shy kid that spent most of his life in front of a TV or computer, and suddenly I was out in the open, calling myself Hijabman. It was as if I had taken on the persona of a shopkeeper in some bazaar or marketplace in the Cairo or Damascus. Soon, I put on a balloon hat so I could be easily recognized in a sea of thousands of people and that is how all of this started.
Recognition:As a result of my popular web site and the products surrounding it, I was named one of the 500 Most Influential Muslims in the World in a joint publication by Georgetown University & the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Center of Amman, Jordan (2009). Either myself or my products have appeared in the NYTimes, USAToday, the Islam Channel (UK), Salam Cafe (Australia), and featured in The Guardian's Islamophonic podcast, Emel Magazine, and Comedy Central's Colbert Report. And the craziest place one of my shirts has ended up: A social psychology university textbook.
Just recently, I was a panelist at the "Muslim Masculinity in an age of Feminism" conference at Princeton University.
HijabMan is also referenced in:
How Does It Feel to Be A Problem?: Being Young And Arab In America by Moustafa Bayoumi
Encyclopedia of Muslim-American history: Volume 1 by Edward E. Curtis
Osama Van Halen by Michael Muhammad Knight
From Imam to Cyber-Mufti: Consuming Identity in Muslim America by Saminaz Zaman
American Muslims: South Asian Contributions to the Mix by Karen Leonard (full article)