Muslim Punk Fashion

Muslim punk fashion? How interesting! I first saw this top photo on Reddit, and it caused me to dig around the Web for more info.

This woman’s name is Tesnim Sayar, currently an art student in Denmark. She’s designing “rebellious” clothes while still conforming to her religious beliefs. Neat!

I found a few articles that aren’t in English, so I may have interpreted some of this information incorrectly. If so, please feel free to correct me!


21 year old Tesnim Sayar was born and raised in Odense, with the Turkish Muslim descent. She defines herself as Muslim punk and grow rebellious punk clothing style and culture, but live according to his own religious beliefs.

“I am Muslim. I like my religion, I like my scarf. I can not see an obstacle in why I should not be able to combine being both punk and Muslim.”

I found more photos on… I have no idea what the text says, but it looks like her clothing was part of an art show.

Here’s a little more information from, where Tesnim says:

“I will go with it because I think it’s cool and suits me. I have not designed it to provoke. But my message is also that you should not continue to believe that Muslim girls are just sitting at home is boring.”

“A friend of mine says that one defines a punk as opposed to one or another form of oppression. I’m tired of people’s generalizations and stereotypes about Muslim girls. Therefore, I am punk.”

Very cool! I definitely approve.


Bonus artwork below! Tesnim Sayar’s Muslim punk fashion has inspired artist/illustrator Nadia Karroue to draw her portrait. Quite lovely, excellent work!

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41 Responses to Muslim Punk Fashion

  1. Nadira Marican says:

    Isn’t that a contradiction to  Islam in itself? as you’re not allowed to wear anything that draws attention to you? I praise her intention behind it, very imaginative indeed.

  2. ribqueen says:

    If you’re not allowed to wear anything that draws attention to you, what does that say about Muslim hijabis living in majority non-hijabi societies? Typically, a Muslim might say that they are practicing jihad, by struggling for their religion by swimming against the mainstream. Tesnim is trying to fight for Islam by challenging the stereotype of hijabi women being submissive, and she is using punk symbolism to make her message understood. Why not support this?

  3. Merouby says:

    Loving this!

  4. Joanne Wolf says:


  5. Sademoly says:

    Cause you know…. wearing a blanket around your head in America doesnt draw attention to you…

  6. Julian says:

    So does she actually involve herself in the punk culture and music or just use them for her little statement?

  7. britanika says:

    does it matter how little or how much she is involved in punk culture/music? no need to be so condescending with your language.

  8. Guest says:

    Yeah, you are right it is way more punk to buy the Ramones CD and sit at home and listen to it, than it is to stand up and change the world. 

  9. Brat says:

    Dude, she is still being submissive. Is it by stewing some spikes to your blanket that will make you rebelious? 

  10. Mtmtt says:

    Pure Hypocrisy 

  11. ribqueen says:

    how… is she being submissive?

  12. Childofgod says:

    This is really sad actually, a woman has to hide herself because of a
    man-made religion. You are beautiful, and God says so. You can have the
    style of punk not ‘muslim punk’. Express yourself and stop hiding behind
    pieces of cloth. Jesus didn’t die for you to have a religion. 

  13. Rsa says:

    Uh… She’s Muslim. You have absolutely NO right to tell her what she can and cannot do with her body. The Christian God states that women should be subjected to marriage with their rapists, beheaded if they aren’t pure, sold to the highest bidder, burned if they are ‘witches’ (an improper term, as it was originally ‘heathens’ which could literally be translated into anything–if you sneeze you’re a heathen).

    About the being ‘covered’, should we make it illegal for people to wear crosses? Or for Jewish men to wear Yarmulkes? Or Mormons from wearing their fancy undergarments? Those are taking away the rights of those religions. 

    Stop pushing your religion on everyone else. This girl is doing what she thinks is right and no one has any right to tell her to stop. 

    Also, you may want to look into you Christian history– it’s definitely not the first religion. In fact, a generous portion of Christianity is actually stolen from various other religions in the area. The only reason it is even practiced is because of the fleeting fancy of a Roman Dictator. I, for one, wouldn’t want to have anything to do with a religion that was (and still is) shoved down people’s throats on pain of death. 

    I suggest you take a few Theology classes, buddy.

  14. Sdsmithartanddesign says:

    I believe you’re both mislead, apologies. In Islam, modest dressing and covering all but the face and not showing off body shape are emphasized. Whether your dress calls attention to you has nothing to do with it. It is meant to reflect the modesty one holds inside, externally. How this is translated into actual dress is determined by culture, laws and personal standards… somewhat like Christians who go to church is short shorts vs. those who go in dresses and hats.

  15. Child of God says:

    You my friend have been mislead by your ‘Theology’ class. Christianity isn’t a religion, it is the only thing that is a spiritual relationship with God. It isn’t a belief, it is a practice and a fellowship. Religion is a man-made invention, they do nothing good for humanity, they fail to feed the poor and starts war, they do not solve any issues, rather they create troubles. Religion is: self-righteousness, selfishness, stubborness, ignorant, hardened Hearts, focus’s on sin, Man searching for a god(s). Christianity= God seeking man, focus’s on God’s love for man, and the followers are humbled. He knows we will never be able to be perfect. He forgives us anyways. He also gives us the 10 commandments so we can live a better life, imagine a nation that Followed the Bible. That nation would be peaceful, helpful to other nations and folk in need, and powerful. In the Bible there is old testament and new testament. Jesus was born lived and overruled the old testament, He gave us the New Testament and died for our sins so that we Can obtain an eternal Life in Heaven with the Holy Spirit. Know, Jesus was called a drunkard and a glutton by religious men and men of the law. This isn’t religious garbage that we are ‘trying’ to shove down people’s throats. We are reaching out to people who are in need. Just as Jesus does and did when He was on this earth. We are allowed to have opinions and voices. Everybody is, though a lot of people misunderstand, and become defensive; trolling and raging without fortification to support your legs to keep you up. This world is blinded, in deceptive darkness because of the lack of societies that depend on God. So far gone that societies and dictionaries define Christianity as a religion. America, the once great nation Under God, is no longer under God. Man wants to control and dominate everything, but we are all human and know that humans are very flawed. Look where this has gotten this world. We suggest you stop taking Theory classes and read the Bible yourself. I dare you to pray to God right now, ask Him whats on your Heart and what you should know. He will reveal the Truth of this world, along with all truth and you will see in the light; not clouded by the deception that satan has upon non-followers of God. “The fear (fear in this sense meaning ‘in awe of, Awe-some respect for He is all powerful) of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; and good understanding have all who do His Commandments. His praise endures forever.” Psalm 111:10
    We love you, won’t you shine with us?

  16. whaat? says:

    Christianity isn’t a religion, i stopped reading right there, im sorry to inform you christianity IS a religion, it depends on faith and the belief of higher powers, there are christian doctrines and christian churches, there is a faith that divine beings exist, and the reason you believe they exist is because someone told you about them

  17. whaat? says:

    Christianity isn’t a religion, i stopped reading right there, im sorry to inform you christianity IS a religion, it depends on faith and the belief of higher powers, there are christian doctrines and christian churches, there is a faith that divine beings exist, and the reason you believe they exist is because someone told you about them

  18. Child of God says:

    Well that right there is ignorance, you should finish reading what someone has to say before you judge them. Whoever told you that Christianity is a religion or if it is you that believes that then don’t be saying sorry to me, say sorry to God. Christianity is a intimate RELATIONSHIP with God, not foolish rules (religion). And no actually nobody “told” me about God, I found out myself because He revealed Himself to me. I opened my heart, mind and put all my trust into God. My life was flipped around completely, I was atheist before I was a Christian (Little Christ). I now follow what God, Lord Jesus says (The Holy Bible). Know what you believe and why you believe in it, and be sure to have Faith that what your believing in will really be there when your life on this world ends. 😀 God Bless.

  19. RenZy says:

    If someone like to wear this, me i have no reason to judge. If it doesn’t hurt someone, then it’s fine. It’s not because someone like pink and not you then you have to right to judge, it’s what i think. And i think religion is not that much important. It’s man-made after all, and it’s hurting more than helping most of the time.

  20. Swaggerhound says:

    you’ve obviously never even taken theology 101 because the first thing you’d learn is that Christians and Muslims worship the same god. That said I would like you to find me one section in the Gospel that promotes any of the things you claim are sola scriptura. I can give you a bit out of the Qu’ran you may have beef with:
    A woman is worth one-half a man. 2:282 ; and males are to inherit twice that of females. 4:11, Lewd women are to be confined to their houses until death.4:15
    You can’t have sex with married women, unless they are slaves obtained in war. 4:24, Don’t pray if you are drunk, dirty, or have touched a woman lately. 4:43
    A husband can accuse his wife of adultery with only one witness. 24:6, The wives of Mohammad are not like other women. They must not leave their houses. 33:32-33, Men are in charge of women, because Allah made men to be better than women. Refuse to have sex with women from whom you fear rebellion, and scourge them. 4:34, Women are your fields, so go into your fields whichever way you like 2:223

    Also you may find it interesting that this girl is a buging hypocrite; don’t defend a religion you know nothing about just because it is hated by republicans: “There is no altering Allah’s creation.” (Ar-Rum: 30)

    For the record I think Christianity is a load of horseshit too, Its just from the standpoint of a secular who is highly educated on the topic of Abrahamic religion I have come to understand that if nothing else, for the most part, the original text of Christianity preaches love and forgiveness, and the Qu’ran preaches order, control and submission to God (From a 600’s perspective [ yeesh]). Swag.


  21. lucky girl that you weren’t living as a moslem in afghanistan, Iraq or perhaps even in Iran

  22. Sexpistols says:

    we want to see you in istanbul streets with this scarf.. doing this in denmark is easy..

  23. Mery Em says:


  24. Rebellion is not in the look says:

    The veil in itself is much more provocative to far more people than the punk-style is in the west now. Punkstyle is kind of not as provocative as it once was.. If you have not noticed that then you need to get aware of which decade you´re living in. A veiled woman pregnant in the seventh month got her head banged into a car until she passed out with a brain concussion when she was out late by herself at a parking lot in my country. (Which is a western country close to Denmark.) She wore the usual veil/headscarf, no faceveil or spikes or anything more attention-drawing than a headscarf. So wearing such a cloth with huge spikes on it must be kind of the most provocative piece of cloth one can wear in the west in this decade. Except from wearing a whole burqa offcourse. Try walking in this sort of cloth in Denmark yourself before you say how it is. I reccomend you don´t walk home alone if you try it.

    As for Istanbul you´re very right. The veil in itself is very provocative to LOADS of people in Turkey, a country that I assume you know has a history of forcing women into prison and prison torture BECAUSE they where wearing a veil? (Only because of the headscarf, it didn´t have to be a faceveil).
    If you don´t know about the suicides of turkish women, who where mentally tortured to death only for wearing a freaking piece of garment on their heads I reccomend reading Orhan Pamuks novel Snow. If ANY people has been provoced by this garment it´s Turkish people. So yeah, if she did this at a Turkish university in Istanbul it would be as punky as anything in this world could be. Although I think it´s pretty riddiculus to go around telling others what´s punk and what´s not. Because then you´re trying to force your norms on others yourself.

  25. Me says:

    That´s what the other woman at the top picture was saying, LOL! The veiled girl could have skipped the enormous spikes. I thought this was an art exhibition and not her day to day style when I first heard about this. If she had gone for some smaller punk-attributes I think it would have been a cool blend of middle east and subcultural west, though. The muslims with roots in the middle east have a subculture in the west of their own. If you ask many of them they say they don´t fit into neather middle eastern cultures when they go there nor mainstream western culture. So it´s actually not that strange how they blend middle eastern and western things.

  26. C. says:

    Christianity is a religion. Trust me, Muslims or Jews or any other religious person, thinks the same way about their faith. So please, keep your holier-than-thou attitude for yourself. It is people like you that give Christianity (or any other spiritual and/or religious movement) a bad reputation. Some of us try to be Christian in a critical and adapted way. Your ignorance leaves no room for respect and acceptance of other people’s believe and will only alienate us. Thank you, you are no help whatsoever to a healthy debate on spirituality and religion.

  27. immuslimifudonlikegoeatapencil says:

    wasn’t it the CHRISTIAN pope who started the crusades? oh wait no it couldn’t be because nobody has ever started a war in the name of Christianity. the Spanish inquisition never EVER happened. and neither did the salem witch trials…

  28. SG says:

    Pretty sad. “Look, I’m rebelling by following the exact same religion I was taught as a child! Meanwhile, I’ll put spikes on an item of clothing specifically used to oppress women and call myself a revolutionary”.
    Don’t think I have anything against islam in particular. I hate all religions/dogmas equally, and I hate hijabs as much as I hate how women HAVE to wear bikini bras in western culture, since breasts are considered sexual objects.
    And now I wait for the wave of “YOU CAN’T JUDGE HER FOR HER OWN BELIEFS!!!”. Sorry, I’m just not prone to taking seriously someone who was indoctrinated as a child.

  29. loosexnut says:

    If she was “punk rock” she wouldn’t belong to organized religion, she’d burn down churches. So yeah, she’s just exploited a subculture’s fashion for money. bug the kitty.

  30. loosexnut says:

    all religions are man-made moron. why is your man-made religion more real than her man-made religion. all religions are bullshit.

  31. cnidarian says:

    You sound like someone who knows very little about what wearing a hijab means. Please educate yourself further before stating that it’s specifically used to oppress women, because it is not. You can literally google “What is the purpose of hijab” and come up with simple results explaining it to you, none of which point towards your inaccurate, Westernized assumption.
    Just because you’re not exposed to women choosing to wear hijab, and just because it’s considered abnormal in your country does not mean you understand the purpose of it, nor does it mean you are an authority on it.
    The internet exists, use it to educate yourself rather than to try to insult cultures you don’t understand.

  32. SG says:

    “You’re not exposed to women choosing to wear a hijab” oh yes I am, in fact my father works for the immigration department of the police headquarters of my town. He has seen everything you can imagine and more, including angry men screaming at him because he HAD to check if the woman under the blanket was the one pictured in the ID and those bugtards didn’t want their wives to uncover their face. Not even for an absolutely normal procedure required by the law of the country they CHOSE to live in.
    I don’t buging care about anyone’s culture, including mine, which I find stupid, horrible and hurtful most of the time. Do you think she would have CHOSEN to wear a hijab if she hadn’t grown in an environment that convinced her it was the right thing to do? Yeah.
    If she was brought up as agnostic and then chose his/her religion as an adult, without being indoctrinated, it would a completely different matter. But it seems like she’s trying to convince me she’s not influenced by anybody while doing exactly the same things she’s always done. Not rebellious at all. Maybe she should start asking herself why muslim countries are the ones who are less accepting of any basic human right, from women to gay people.

  33. Scout says:

    I think she looks lovely. She is obviously comfortable with both her clothing choice and her religion. She has the right to wear whatever pleases her.

  34. Rather Stay Anonymous says:

    I love the art.

  35. Frederikke says:

    She’s danish! A huge inspiraton to people everywhere, religious or not!

  36. whattt says:

    SG – It seems that you do care about and want to uphold some aspects of your own culture, because you use the phrase “required by law” as if that should somehow shut down the whole argument. you realize that laws are part of culture right? you feel that when your laws come into conflict with other people’s religions, your laws should arbitrarily trump them. and regarding “they CHOSE to live [here]” … ummm you realize that some muslims are born here right, they’re not all immigrants???? I think we can have a reasoned debate about that law, but not while you are spouting xenophobic filth about “the woman under the blanket”

    do you honestly think it is a pure coincidence that your father is pissed off at muslims, and so are you? we are all “indoctrinated,” if you want to put it that way. but I would argue that your usage of “indoctrination” is short for, “that person was enculturated much differently as a child than i was, and i just can’t handle it”

    when millions of perfectly intelligent, rational women choose to wear a veil – which is of course no more INHERENTLY “stupid, horrible and hurtful” than skimpy Western clothes – and you presume to lecture them about how they are NOT in fact choosing to wear a veil, it is YOU – not islam – who is their true enemy. if you are really so concerned about muslim women, check out lila abu-lughod’s “do muslim women need saving?”

    and by the way, you want moral/ethical absolutes? then let’s talk about “do unto others as you would have others do unto you” – that seems like a pretty solid absolute to me.

  37. SG says:

    Ahahah. Ok let’s get some things straight. You assume here that I only despise parts of muslim culture, which is untrue, because I very clearly stated that I despise parts of western culture too, and I choose not to participate in them. I might be born and raised in a certain part of the world but I am as culture-less as I can in my mind. I try to see the best parts in each culture and condemn the worst parts.
    Second: there are second and third generation immigrants, but most of them were born in another country.
    Third: my father is not pissed off at muslims. He just tells me the things he sees at work. And I WAS PRO-IMMIGRANTS IN THE PAST, but the facts are just so obvious that at some point I couldn’t keep supporting it without making a fool of myself.
    I know there are many muslim women who choose to wear the veil. Just as I know there are many western women who choose to go to church. And I honestly think they’re happy with their choice. But you can’t argue that those behaviors weren’t imposed by the part of the world they were born in. You just can’t. They were RAISED to think those things were good and awesome, it’s something they’ve been taught since they were newborns, of course their brain identifies certain behaviors as positive. Still imposed.
    I don’t know if you’ve ever been in the UK, but between ghettos and muslims trying to impose the shari’a law every five minutes, they’re strongly regretting their openness towards other “beautiful” cultures. And I’m not from the UK, but my country will soon be in that condition.
    Culture is crap. Culture is the poisoning belief that what has always been done is right and change is damaging. I despise that kind of thinking, and I despise people who treat culture as this sacred thing that should not be questioned, otherwise you’re either xenophobic or a traitor (guess I am both, LOL).
    I wish people realized how many stupid and useless things they do everyday because of their damn culture and religion, or at least I wish they questioned them hard enough to be hella sure of what they’re doing. But they simply don’t.

  38. Althea Ann says:

    Calling attention to oneself is, by definition, not modest. That said, I’m all for immodesty…

  39. boop says:

    While that’s true in general, modesty in this context means “showing off your body”. Plus, I don’t think I know anyone who dresses to catch other’s attention, even if they dress in very bright colors; they do it because they like those colors…

  40. LordeisCool says:

    this girl is cool; keep on doing what you do!!! she couldn’t care less about what society thinks of her, or the rude old hag devil-worshipping lady next to tesniv in the first photo. if everyone was like this in the world; not worried about what others think of them, the world would be a much better place!!! you go girl!!

  41. Leena says:

    awesome ♥

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