Muslim T-Shirt Designers Take a Smack at American Ignorance

"There are almost 1.2 billion Muslim people in the world. At least 15 of us are not terrorists," quipped Obaida Abdel-Rahim, 28. "It could even be more than that. Maybe even a lot more."

The Calgary, Canada-born Abdel-Rahim owns the Muslim t-shirt business Phatwa Factory, one of several Middle Eastern-accented t-shirt businesses to spring up in saucy retort to the outpouring of anti-Muslim sentiment since 9/11.

From Rootsgear's "100 percent Randomly Searched at the Following Airports" and's "Enemy Combatant" tees, to the lighter "Lebanese Princess," and "Allah's Little Angel," they are getting their message across.

Abdel-Rahim, who now lives in Gainesville, Florida, said he hopes to use humorous slogans to bust US stereotypes about Muslims.

"The best thing to happen to Muslim clothing since pants under a thawb [traditional men's robe]," says a slogan for Phatwa Factory, which he started in 2006.

"I'd like Muslims to know that it's okay to laugh," he said, "and non-Muslims to know that we have a sense of humor."

Dalia Ghanem had a similar idea. The New Jersey-born, Egypt-descended clothing designer dreams up hip t-shirts for people of Arabic heritage. She decided Arab-Americans needed a more optimistic representation of their culture after 9/11. (MORE)



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