Honest With You is a commentary on the changing identity of the British Muslim woman, which examines the motivations of those who have resorted to concealing their femininity by re-veiling and wearing the hijab while others have rejected it outright.
The veil has become a prominent symbol for Muslim women in the West and serves as the locus of a movement that offers two powerful political statements. It identifies those who strongly oppose Western intervention in Muslim countries while, at the same time, proffers a visual rejection of what many believe to be the oversexualized culture of Western society. Its popularity is driven within the UK by Islamic societies that have formed pressure groups, as well as immigration from Muslim countries that wear the hijab, such as Iran, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Egypt, Somalia and Syria, where the movement ‘Hijabee chic’ originated. These newcomers have defiantly held on to their traditional Islamic dress while introducing these concepts to British Muslim communities.
Hussain’s research has revealed that, like their male counterparts, British Muslim women are also in flux, simultaneously clashing and succumbing to Western ideology while attempting to uphold their cultural traditions. However, and in spite of these competing interests, Muslim women are encouraging each other to become educated, to attend university and to build careers before they marry.
Yet unlike their male counterparts, British Muslim women are often able to maintain their sense of identity with a profound sensitivity to female solidarity and femininity. In conjunction, they are doing so at great pace, while acquiring confidence in all aspects of their daily life.