Young Saudis reject ‘trivial’ fashion concerns

Young trendy Saudis have said the issue of clothing with esoteric symbols is being blown out of proportion by people obsessed with 'trivial concerns'

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Symbols on clothing and accessories sold in the kingdom may, according to some, violate the teachings of Islam, prompting many to question why clothes that depict esoteric material are openly being displayed and sold in stores across the Kingdom.

However, young trendy Saudis have said the issue is being blown out of proportion by people obsessed with “trivial concerns,” al-Madinah daily reported.

According to Fawaz Al-Zahrani, symbols such as the inverted triangle, skull and crossbones and hexagram are used by Satan worshippers and clothes and accessories depicting such symbols should be banned in the Kingdom.

Echoing the same view, Abdulaziz Al-Qahtani said the Saudi Customs Department has to clear all goods that enter the market.

"It is the only way such clothes enter the country," he said and called on customs officers to be alert and cautious when dealing with imported clothes.

“It is regrettable that some of our youth are so keen to wear Western clothes. The concerned authorities are to blame for the spread of such clothes in local markets, hence enticing the youth to purchase them,” Al-Zahrani said.

Fares Atiyyah called on young Saudis to boycott clothes containing offensive symbols, skinny jeans due to their tight fit, Bermuda shorts since they expose legs and also avoid sagging (wearing jeans well below the hips).

“Parents should watch what their kids wear and fortify them with Islamic values. The Ministry of Commerce and Industry and local municipalities should shoulder their responsibilities and counter such phenomena,” he said.

Sheikh Saleh Al-Mufadhili, former director of Makkah Dar Al-Hadith, said it is impermissible to perform prayers in such clothes because they nullify the act of worship.

He further said: “A Muslim man is allowed to wear stylish clothes and pray except if they contain silk threads. Wearing tight and transparent clothes and those with pictures of Western sports stars is in imitation of others is not allowed because Muslims are not supposed to imitate non-Muslims.”

Sheikh Al-Mufadhili called on religious preachers, scholars, mosque imams, teachers, parents and the media to explain the dangers of wearing such clothes to the youth. He also said young Saudis should improve their religious knowledge so they do not imitate the West.

Many young Saudis, however, rejected such generalizations. Marwan Fatani accused certain people in society of creating a fuss over what he termed “trivial concerns” and said just because young people wear trendy clothes, it does not mean they are imitating Western culture.

“We don’t imitate them in word and deed nor their players, singers and actors. We don’t imitate their customs and traditions as claimed by some people. It is just that we admire these styles that keep pace with the latest trends. Honestly, I don’t know when these trivial concerns will come to an end. Why don’t they leave us alone and let us wear what we want? Nobody has been harmed by the jeans and t-shirts worn by this country’s youth.”

Ibrahim Barnawi, another young Saudi, said it is a well-known fact that Saudi youth safeguard social values and traditions and keeping up with the latest fashion trends does not mean that the youth have failed to uphold their values.

This article was first published in the Saudi Gazette, August 2, 2014.