CAIRO - Finding pride in their Islamic culture, young Muslim youths in San Francisco bay area are matching and mixing between Islamic abayas, thobes and kufi caps and American suits and ties.
I just take off my suitcoat and throw that on over my button-up, Ruhollah Habibi, a banker at JP Morgan, told The Oakland Tribune, as he took a break to attend Friday weekly prayers.
It's our etiquette to wear Islamic clothing when you're going to learn the sacred knowledge, the 28-year-old San Ramon resident added.
Growing up far from their parents' home country, American-born Muslims are now reverting to use global Muslim styles from the Middle East, Asia and Africa.
From kufi caps to veils and ankle-length abayas, multicultural Muslim clothing is in demand among the Bay Area's young and devout.
Instead of travelling abroad, internet appeared as the best way to acquire well-made Muslim clothing, dubbed by Habibi as the Guccis of Muslim wear.
Some merchants were also capitalizing on the trend by allowing Bay Area Muslims to browse clothes and feel the fabrics locally.
Thobes, abayas, hijabs, topis, khuffs and more! says a sign outside Maqbool Islamic Clothing, a new store next to the post office in the historic Alvarado district in Union City.
Entrepreneur Jabir Tarin, 20, dressed recently in blue Vans sneakers, a bright plaid shirt and a taqiyah cap, opened the shop March 1 with his older brother and a friend.
They couldn't find the clothes they wanted to wear, so the Cal State East Bay students began importing them.
It's totally normal for us to wear this in public, said the bearded college student, walking through a store that sells everything from Arab yashmagh scarves to the tropical lungis and sarongs favored from Bangladesh to Indonesia.
The United States is home to an estimated Muslim minority of between seven to eight million.
Though shunning their immigrant parents' attire for years, Bay Area Muslims were reverting to use Islamic traditional outfits.
My mom wanted me to wear the clothes, and we would rebel and say, No way, we're not going to wear that stuff.' It wasn't cool, Habibi, the San Ramon banker who grew up as an Afghan-American family in Fremont, added.
We were kids. We wanted to fit in.
Taking his faith more seriously, Habibi found a new pride in his Muslim culture and community.
Every single day, I've got to look sharp, especially with clients, he said.
I kind of look at Islamic clothing the same way.
Habibi is looking now for thobe of the Yemeni style he spotted on a passer-by some weeks ago.
I'm not really a big fan of wearing a collar. I told him, Hey man, are you going to get any of those Yemeni thobes there? I can't find one.'
Living in an accepting place, Bar Area Muslims said it helped them to celebrate multiculturalism and their longstanding Islamic cultural traditions.
One of the blessings of living in the Bay Area is there's so much diversity, Tarin, the entrepreneur, said.
You could all but go naked and nobody will say anything.
Reproduced with permission from OnIslam.net