The source of their indignation is a Muslim model named Mariah Idrissi. Britain First concluded that ‘As the number of Muslims in Britain increases, so will their prominence in the media’. Though that logic presents a flaw, as Ms Idrissi told Fusion “It always feels like women who wear hijab are ignored when it comes to fashion.”
Nor did Britain First inform supporters that the campaign also features a diverse cast: from an amputee model, to plus-sized models, and a group of Sikh men. Funny that.
So why the single focus? Forget H&M or Mariah Idrissi for a moment. It is not about that. The story serves a wider purpose – to play on the insecurities individuals hold towards Muslims in Britain.
A variety of comments called for boycott of H&M. Others opined that ‘Islam belongs in the desert away from the civilised world’. One user wrote that ‘I’m SICK of turning on the tv and seeing Muslims on it. I don’t pay a licence to see that sort of vermin’.
To stray from a perceived notion of cultural identity invokes bigoted, racist, and at times, dehumanising responses.
Yet, for many young Muslims, this positive image aids self esteem and self-identification. To be a stakeholder in society requires a sense of identity that translates across mediums. H&M may prove the outlier; but some fashion companies do embrace a level of diversity among emerging markets.
Some Daily Mail readers followed a similar logic in a desire to boycott H&M.