The hijab is a contentious garment for Muslim women, its use or non-use intimately bound up in complex questions of faith, self-identity and religious (or even secular) politics. It provokes furious headlines and controversy all over the world, yet it co-exists in the world of fashion just as much as it does in the world of religious geopolitics: for every hardline view on the hijab, there is a hip hijab worn as both religious and fashion statement.

Our panel of Muslim women all have different relationships with the hijab and have made different choices around wearing it. Their discussion will take in the varying perceptions of the hijab in society and amongst Muslim women.

Our panellists include journalist and commentator Remona Aly; award winning columnist and author of ‘Headscarves and Hymens: Why the Middle East Needs a Sexual Revolution’ Mona Eltahawy; Mariah Idrissi, who recently featured in Hijab in H&M’s Close the Loop campaign and Ayisha Malik, who’s debut novel ‘Sofia Khan is Not Obliged’ is out now.

About The Journalists

Remona Aly

Remona Aly is a journalist and broadcaster. She writes for The Guardian, is a regular contributor to BBC Radio 2’s Pause for Thought and a presenter on BBC Radio 4’s Something Understood. She is also an editor and podcast host for various platforms. 

Mona Eltahawy

Mona Eltahawy is an award-winning columnist and an international public speaker on Arab and Muslim issues and global feminism. She is the author of Headscarves and Hymens: Why the Middle East Needs a Sexual Revolution. Her commentaries have appeared in several publications and she is a regular guest analyst on various television and radio shows.


Mariah Idrissi

Mariah recently featured in H&M’s Close the Loop campaign. She is the first Muslim model to be featured by a major western brand wearing a hijab. Mariah is fast becoming the face of modest fashion with appearances on CNN, Channel 4, Teen Vogue and most recently as a Ted Talks speaker.



About The Author

Ayisha Malik Headshot

Ayisha Malik

Ayisha Malik’s adult novels Sofia Khan is Not Obliged, The Other Half of Happiness, and This Green and Pleasant Land were met with great critical acclaim. Ayisha was a WHSmith Fresh Talent Pick and Sofia Khan has been a CityReads London book. Her children’s books include a re-telling of Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park and The Seven Sisters. She is winner of The Diversity Book Awards and has been shortlisted for The Asian Women of Achievement Award, Marie Claire’s Future Shapers’ Awards and the h100 Awards. Her latest novel, The Movement, is out July 2022.