Recently, there has been a boom in superhero characters challenging stereotypes about Muslims. These include Kamala Khan, the 16-year-old Ms Marvel character and daughter of Pakistani immigrants living in New Jersey, Dust, a young Afghan woman, and Nightrunner, a young Muslim Algerian hero.
But, two real-life Muslim Americans, 26-year-old Shereen Nourollahi and 24-year-old Humaira Mubeen, are challenging stereotypes in their own novel way. The two women have created a matchmaking website that caters to those looking for “proud Muslim Americans” but who are tired of traditional familial arrangements.
Known as Hipster Shaadi, the site features a pink heart wearing thick-rimmed spectacles and boasting a heavy mustache. Taglines on the site include “Sometimes you just have to yolo it” and “Before you find them, find yourself.”
According to Nourollahi, one of the website’s founders, Hipster Shaadi differs from other Muslim matchmaking sites because it fills a gap that “American-born kids really care about.”
This is evident from its users, who are mostly in their 20s. These young people share interests, like biking and indie music, that are similar to users of other dating sites. At the same time, there are also numerous references to Islam and its different denominations on Hipster Shaadi profiles.
Nourollahi observes that while some people on the website have adopted clichéd profiles, describing themselves as “progressive, open-minded and willing to adapt,” there are also a “full spectrum of outliers” on the fast-growing website.