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'I love my Prophet,' and other t-shirts that redefine Islamic clothing

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• A local, slice-of-life story from a Monitor correspondent.

Whether at his office, on the streets of Frankfurt, or on the music stage, rapper Fouad As-Idi, has no qualms wearing a T-shirt with a special message: “Terrorism has no religion.”

“The motives are super both for Muslims and non-Muslims,” says Mr. Idi, a Moroccan-Italian Frankfurter better known as his stage name, Sayfoudin “It’s a message that speaks to everybody.”

The T-shirt is a product of Styleislam, a new brand of Muslim fashion that has been sweeping through the streets of Europe. Mixing Islamic themes with hip-hop culture in a collection of 35 T-shirts, casual wear, and accessories for men and women, Styleislam products have one main message: Being Muslim and being modern go together.

IN PICTURES: Islamic Fashion

“T-shirts are a bridge, they are a means to establish a dialogue with mainstream society,” says Melih Kesmen, Styleislam’s creator, whose parents left Turkey in the 1960s to help Germany rebuild its infrastructure after the traumas of World War II. “Our goal is to strengthen the identity of European Muslims, to say that we are a part and parcel of this society – and have been for a long time. And to say that being Muslim can be cool, too,” says Mr. Kesmen from Witten, an industrial city in northwestern Germany.


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