ColLive, continuing in their never ending quest to make mountains out of mole hills, hit the polemic jackpot when they called attention to what should have been an innocuous post by local enterprising women. Mimi Notik Hecht and Mushky Notik sisters-in-law and business partners are founders of Mimu Maxi a self-styled modest-yet-fashionable clothing line marketed primarily to women in the frum community, but has been slowly branching out into modest Christian and Muslim women. They recently raised the hackles of stupid people when they reposted an image posted by an American muslim fashion blogger.
Collive felt this was a pressing and urgent matter to the community and submitted it to their battery of semi-literate misanthropes who proceeded to rain hate on the women. The website, which often publishes controversies within Crown Heights and the Chabad movement, has reached a low point. Knowing full well that this would result in senseless hatred between Jewish people within there community they posted the story, damaging Mimu Maxi’s reputation most likely against halacha. Mimi Hecht responded with a statement published on the facebook and instagram which was reposted on Collive.
The comments that followed were perplexingly hate-filled and cruel. I don’t care to share any of them, because I don’t deem them worthy of being propagated on my forum. In summation the bulk of the commenters felt that the timing of the photo was insensitive to Israelis currently enduring bombings and rocket attacks, failing to draw a solid connection between the Islamic Instagrammer and the terrorists currently bombing Israel.
What makes this so disturbing is that the level of hatred, animosity and anger has reached such uncontrollable levels, that many of us don’t know what to do with all of our negative feelings. The constant barrage of propaganda from both sides have left us embittered and ready to lash out at anybody who doesn’t perfectly fit our world view. I myself have abruptly ended several arguments during these dark days, merely because I didn’t want to foment any hatred.
As for the actual timing of the post itself, was it inappropriate, insensitive etc? Let us pretend for a moment that while hunkered down in bomb shelters praying for their lives, Israelis are passing the time reading Islamic fashion blogs. That might have been a bit glib. It is possible that some of Mimu Maxi’s 2,680 followers are currently residing in Israel and they saw the post; and their feelings of terror were exacerbated after seeing their repost of The Hipster Hijabi’s photo. It’s possible, however it’s far more likely that the picture of the slender Muslim was spread by the muckraking ColLive, trolling for clicks and ad revenue.
Is what they did wrong?
We are in a conflict with Muslim terrorists. Everyday a high-profile Islamic cleric calls upon his followers to engage with the enemy, The West, Israel, and the Jewish people. It is a frightening time with a frightening enemy who would like to kill us.This is why it is the perfect time to post. I feel like I’m beating the dead horse once again with the not-all-Muslims-are-terrorists-line, but not all Muslims are terrorists. Over the past few weeks I have been appalled at the constant barrage of anti-Muslim and anti Arab hate propaganda that has decorated my news feed. It was so wonderful and refreshing to see somebody exit the fog of war to collaborate on something so basic so simple, to highlight the most common threads that draw us together.
Today, we condemned Hamas for failing to hold to a ceasefire for even one day. Then how can we condemn these three women for coming together for a moment to share similar interests. If we are to ever have any hope at peace, the walls of mystery and ignorance must come crashing down and the only way to start is to discuss where we can come together even if it is on something as simple as a lime-green skirt.
Edit: Added links to Mimu Maxi response statement.