This Is What Netflix’s ‘Elite’ Got Wrong About Muslims

No. Not every hijabi is in need of a white man to save her.

This Is What Netflix’s ‘Elite’ Got Wrong About Muslims

No. Not every hijabi is in need of a white man to save her.

By

Lina Qaderi
Art - Ameer Al-Khatahtbeh

 

Disclaimer: every opinion expressed in written pieces is that of the writer, and doesn’t represent the view of our publication.

The Netflix show Elite is polarizing – some Muslim viewers love it and others aren’t so happy with it. The frustration mainly comes from the fact that the TV show presents a Muslim girl taking off her hijab for a guy, and her drug dealer gay brother’s dillemma with his faith. 

For those who are unaware of the show, the main Muslim characters share pretty similar plot lines. Starting off with the hijabi, Nadia, she starts off as a shy new girl at school who only studies and doesn’t want to be friends with others. 

It’s safe to assume that the writers were trying to include the stereotype of all hijabis being quiet and not speaking for themselves. 

Nadia accidentally spots two antagonists of the show having sex, leading them to make a bet with each other to see if the white boy, Guzman, can humiliate Nadia by seducing her. The both of them end up having feelings for each other and Nadia begins to do things like not wearing her hijab as much and having sex. 

This is a common theme in almost every hijabi’s storyline and it’s pretty old to the point where there is almost no point in putting a Muslim girl in a movie or TV show because it just ends with false representation and the girl just being “saved” by a white guy as a “happy ending.”

 

 

Things are no better for Nadia’s brother, Omar, a gay drug dealer who starts to fall in love with another main character in the show. I’m sure the only reason Elite made Omar, out of all characters, to be homosexual was to turn him being Muslim as just a dilemma or obstacle in his life. 

This should never be presented for any type of belief, especially the ones that are continuously being underrepresented.

There is another gay muslim character that enters the show in season 3 named Malick. Malick starts to date Nadia even though she still has feelings for Guzman. Her parents approve of her dating Malick. Nadia later finds out he is secretly gay and has been hooking up with her brother, Omar… seriously? Talk about family tea!

Malick convinces Nadia to continue dating him. He also ends up proposing to Nadia near the end of the show and she accepts – until the next day when she realizes she doesn’t want to live a lie – but the two remain friends. The season finishes with Nadia still wanting to be with Guzman as well as Omar leaving Malick for his first boyfriend.

Most Muslims would say that these characters are disrespectful to all Muslim teenagers, as the show is in a backhanded way of making it seem to the audience that the religion of Islam goes against any teens’ desires and is practically oppressing Muslims, leaving them with no choices.

 

 

The writers of Elite consist of Spanish men, aside from Abril Zamora, a trans woman. None of the writers are Muslim. The problem with this is that it shows that the writers may have used only the preexisting stereotypes they had in mind while making and shaping these characters and didn’t even think about having a Muslim writer to clarify whats right and wrong. 

It’s already sad enough that having Muslim characters in films isn’t considered a regular thing, but when they are being represented incorrectly as well, it just makes it worse. 

I believe that the show is trying to give off the idea that all Muslims are needing to rebel to live a happy life because otherwise they are nothing but “oppressed” kids. Which is completely untrue. 

I think this is a dangerous idea to be spreading too, especially for the hijabi stereotype,  since nowadays there are a lot of films expressing the idea of hijabis being oppressed and being unhappy until meeting some white boy that makes her feel “true freedom.” 

These films will lead non-Muslims, or even some Muslim girls who are considering wearing the hijab to think it’s just force from parents and will completely change others idea of what the hijab is actually supposed to represent, which is modesty. 

Also the show adds to the stereotype of ALL muslims having insanely strict parents, which I find pretty unfair. Sure there are Muslim parents that are strict but not all are. There are a lot of laid back Muslim parents out there who have a healthy relationship with their children. 

I’m pretty sure if there were Muslims among the writing crew for the show, Nadia and Omar would probably be completely different characters from what they are currently. I’m also sure that Nadia wouldn’t need or want to take off her hijab at all through the show. 

Personally, I don’t think Elite is a bad show, as a matter of fact I find the show pretty interesting. My only issue, along with many people’s issue with the show, is their idea of Muslim teens and how they’re choosing to present them.

 

 

I watched this one show a while back called Skam, and it’s one of my favorite shows of all time because they have a strong and amazing hijabi lead that doesn’t show her as embarrassed of her religion or wanting to take off her hijab (she doesn’t remove her hijab throughout the show.) 

It’s also not that hard to create a good plot line for a hijabi. For example, it could be the opposite of pretty much all the hijabi films, where the guy falls in love with the Muslim girl and wants to convert for her. 

 It’s not everyday you will see a show or a movie wanting to feature a hijabi, let alone a Muslim. I think if film writers are wanting to create a Muslim character, they should respect the religion of Islam and the lives of most Muslim teenagers. 

I also believe that Elite should start to introduce a better portrayal of these Muslim characters. The popular show only has three seasons, who knows where it will lead. We just simply ask for good representation.

Muslim Directioners, Rise Up: Gigi Hadid And Zayn Are Having A Child

Reports share that the sought after Muslim couple are expecting their first child. Muslim Twitter is shook.

Muslim Directioners, Rise Up: Gigi Hadid And Zayn Are Having A Child

Reports share that the sought after Muslim couple are expecting their first child. Muslim Twitter is shook.

By

Rania Rizvi
Art - Ameer Al-Khatahtbeh

 

Mixed baby check! Dutch-Palestinian super model Gigi Hadid and THEE ex-boyband Pakistani heartthrob turned solo star Zayn Maik are reportedly expecting their first child together, according to TMZ. 

Although the baby bump isn’t visible yet and Zigi has yet to make an official announcement, TMZ reported that Hadid is more than 20 weeks pregnant. 

The news has Muslim twitter and stan Twitter shook, and their reactions couldn’t be anymore relatable.

 

Despite having an up-and-down relationship — the singer and supermodel reportedly split in 2018 due to their hectic schedules — Hadid and Malik are happier than ever and haven’t “skipped a beat,” said a source. 

The couple is currently quarantining together at Hadid’s family farm in Pennsylvania, where they  celebrated the model’s 25th birthday this past Sunday.

All 1D stans out there (yes, we still exist) know that Malik will be the third father of the group, following behind the “For You” singer, Liam Payne, and Louis Tomlinson, the oldest member in the band.  

With now ⅗ of the boyband as parents, along with the recent rumors that the boys are reuniting for their 10-year anniversary, former 1D fans are searching for their old t-shirts, CDs and One: Direction This Is Us DVDs in quarantine. 

The reunion whispers started after fans noticed that the rest of the group refollowed Malik on Twitter. 

Though nothing is confirmed yet, fans are praying for a reunion and we could all use a quarantine “W” right about now. 

Malik may now have to swap microphones for pacifiers, but one thing’s for sure: Zigi’s future baby is going to be set for life, financially and physically, inshallah khair. With career options like carrying boy bands and strutting on cat walks, this baby has a bright future ahead.

 

Written by Rania Rizvi and Ameena Qobrtay

Muslim YouTubers To Watch This Ramadan

Here is a list of Muslim creators on YouTube to check out if you need to kill 10-minutes before iftar.

Muslim YouTubers To Watch This Ramadan

Here is a list of Muslim creators on YouTube to check out if you need to kill 10-minutes before iftar.

By

Mohamed Alagteaa
Art - Ameer Al-Khatahtbeh


Last year, YouTube crossed the milestone of over 2 billion logged-in monthly users. Content about everything and everyone is just waiting for you in a black hole of random endless hours of pure entertainment.

A huge chunk of those hours is created by a variety of Muslim YouTube personalities that we follow and adore. The YouTube Muslim community is a representation of what happens when religion intersects with different identities with their own culture, heritage, and traditions.

We want to introduce you to your soon-to-be new favorite Muslim YouTubers repping the game hard while staying true to themselves.


Art - Ameer Al-Khatahtbeh

 

We’ve all been there, the deepest black hole there is on YouTube – makeup tutorials!

With so much out there, Yasmine Simone is just a breath of fresh air. This Muslim beauty-lover has over 100k subscribers. On her channel, she shares stunning makeup trends, advice on skincare, wellness, head wrap styles, and more beauty secrets. 

However, what makes Yasmine a true joy to watch is her easy-going attitude and realistic approach to beauty that cuts that is unseen in the Muslim makeup community.

 

Art - Ameer Al-Khatahtbeh

 

Samantha’s content is focuses on what she learned from her experiences and struggles with Islam and her personal development as an Australian Muslim revert. 

Whether it was how she learned to read the Quran or her first Taraweeh experience, Samantha gives her viewers a glimpse of the life of an important segment of our community that does not usually get the mic.  

However, this Aussie does not hold back, giving her take on mental health, feminism, abuse in Muslim homes, and other topics. As Samantha says, her channel is “an outlet of self-expression and community,” a community you definitely have to check out. 

 

Art - Ameer Al-Khatahtbeh

 

You’re in luck, because you just read the name of your new best friend. This Palestinian-American is smart, funny and will just leave you feeling all-around wholesome. 

From silly parodies to Arabic accent/dialect challenges, your auntie will ask why you’re grinning like a fool at your phone. 

Another reason we can’t wait for Subhi’s next upload to drop is because of his willingness to talk about hard-hitting topics like choosing to ignore fear of judgement,  losing faith, the struggle of praying, Arab superiority, and plenty more.

 

Art - Ameer Al-Khatahtbeh

 

They say laughter is the best medicine, and while that is debatable, how funny Abz & Fio is not up for debate. 

With their adorable little son, Rayns, the pair stacks up more than 25 million views on their channel, mostly because of their pranking videos. For these, nothing is off limits, and with some cameos from Rayns, you will probably hop from one video to the next just to see who pranked who.

Yet, their content has range, whether it is an upload about Abz being a stay-home dad, the reality of traveling with a baby, or the many fun mukbang videos they have, this little family of three are worth watching.

So, if you just want to forget about your lonely Saturday evening, surf away to their channel and see how they’ll end up your new obsession.

 

Art - Ameer Al-Khatahtbeh

 

Learn from the brilliant boss woman, Amena. On her channel, Amena lets you in to bear witness to her life as a Muslim Pakistani-British woman, an entrepreneur, a business owner, and a mother. 

With her signature “Hello lovelies,” Amena shares her passion for beauty and lifestyle with more than 411k subscribers, in addition to her day to day life, whether it be her family BBQ or spring cleaning her house. When she is not busy running the world with two companies Amena also talks about personal health and marriage.

She just does it all and you will want a front row seat to see it unfold.

 

 

Art - Ameer Al-Khatahtbeh

 

You will usually find this quirky man on the ‘gram usually running or traveling. Nadir Nahdi gives a fresh breath of content with his storytelling and humor. Making it as part of YouTube’s Creators for Change program, he lives up to their mission statement as he continues to search for untold stories to shed light on them.

With his creator laboratory, BENI and his worldwide run club – you’re always on an adventure with Nadir.

 

Art - Ameer Al-Khatahtbeh

 

Our list signs off with Gita Devi, a brilliant blogger turned business woman. From Gen-Z Twitter meme humor to addressing hard-hitting topics, you will see Gita making your day in the most unusual ways. Although based in Germany, you will find that her content varies in Indonesian and English. 

From vlogs, covers, beauty videos and skits, you will find that Gita’s content is very versatile and enjoyed by everyone. With a large presence of close to 1 million followers, she has expanded in creating a beauty brand, skin care brand, clothing line and is now an author to her recently released book, “Cups Of Tea”.

Happy YouTube browsing!