Of Religion and Cosplay: Thou Shalt Not Mix Them

Want me to be really honest? I’ve tried my best to not even stir the delicate fabric that is religion whenever I discuss an issue related to otaku culture. I really tried. I’m an atheist; I believe God doesn’t exist. But, I can’t be open in this country because the state “forces” its people to have a religion. And because a lot of people are morons who can’t distinguish “discussing an idea” from “blatant attack on personal belief”, I refrain from discussing atheism openly.

But, this… just for this once, I’ll break my commitment to discuss something that I think was meant to be good, but got botched in conveying its message, thereby making it look really stupid.

Just this morning, I woke up and turned on my phone. The first thing I did was masturbate open Facebook and I was intrigued by a status update of a friend. He shared the following photo from the Otaku Muslim fan page:

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On a side note, I seriously believe the term “Otaku Muslim” is an oxymoron because a person cannot be faithful to one without contradicting the other.

Anyway, the above meme roughly translates to:

Left: When women dress openly, men will love them with lust.

Right: When women protect their dignity, men will love them with their hearts.

I was like “Ah the typical hijab cosplay bullshit again”. I made my decision years ago that though I appreciate the creativity behind hijab cosplay, I would never acknowledge it as being “real cosplay” because it botches up the characters unless said character actually wears a hijab. And my stance hasn’t changed.

The entire notion of categorical nudity is stupid. Nudity is subjective. Showing off your bikini at the beach is not considered nudity by Western standards; but showing some skin in Muslim countries can be considered nudity. Where are we? Indonesia may be a Muslim-majority country, but we are essentially multicultural, ergo, we cannot impose an arbitrary standard of nudity based on just one segment of the population. Thus, we can’t judge the left cosplayer as being promiscuous just because she’s wearing something that doesn’t fit Islamic standards, moreover implying that whoever does so will only be loved for lust. It is an imbalanced comparison because it heavily favors one side. Besides, there is no causal relation between the amount of skin someone shows off in cosplay and the type of love she is entitled to received.

And don’t let me get started on the religious controversies surrounding the legitimacy of “hijab cosplay”.

Abrahamic religions share similar tenets, and I believe they all believe that pride is a sin. I haven’t finished studying the Koran yet, however. Now, let’s put it this way. The entire point of this meme, as I believe, is to show that a certain religious practice is “better” than others. Correct me if I’m wrong, but is it not a sin to be proud of something, while at the same time, dissing another practice? Different strokes for different folks, and nobody is better than another.

Besides, the meme makes fun of both women and men alike. Women are portrayed as objects that have to be told what to do, while men are vile creatures who can’t control their dicks. The thing is, it’s not about dressing up like a matryoshka doll. It’s about how you think. People can have vile thoughts about the cosplayer on the right, even though she’s covered from head to toe.

On a side note, using Kotori as an “icon” of promiscuous cosplay is fucking stupid. She’s an innocent character. Besides, her costume isn’t that open. Try harder, OP.

Religion is like a penis. It’s okay to have one, it’s okay to love having one too. But when you start flinging it around in public and shouting, “My penis is the greatest and you all can suck it”, that’s a problem.

Personally, I just cannot understand how the tenets of Islam (or any religion for that matter) and cosplay, a liberal culture, can meet eye-to-eye. Religion is conservative, cosplay is liberal. Religion doesn’t want people to be dressed up in skimpy outfits, cosplay allows you to do whatever the fuck you want. I like to think of it like this: cosplay is a free medium where you can dress as anything you like and not get reprimanded for it. I can cosplay as Osama bin Laden with a bomb strapped to my chest because it’s freedom of expression. But when I go around telling and putting down other cosplayers, especially those from different religious and cultural backgrounds, that they deserve to go to hell because their costumes do not adhere to the standards of belief system, that’s where the line should be drawn.

Hobbies should remain secular.

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35 thoughts on “Of Religion and Cosplay: Thou Shalt Not Mix Them

  1. Reblogged this on Rhysia and commented:
    A penny for your thoughts? I liked the discussion on this post especially since it is something I think of as well (except for the hijab opinion but that is the person’s perception and I will respect that).

    Like

  2. such a great article, but I need to critize you.

    first.
    to say that this thing is prohibit or this thing is allowed, you need rely on Al-Quran, hadith (saheeh hadith ofc) and also fatwa from ulamas. And so with this hijab cosplay thing.

    second.
    first you talk that western standard this….
    and western standard that….
    dude…. you know? that you are not live in western, but in Indonesia.
    You wanna naked? just go to America then 🙂

    third.
    you said “I believe, is to show that a certain religious practice is “better” than others”. so? I believe even atheist has pride towards their teaches and says theistic people is dumb, you are even no better than theistic people.

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    1. OI bitch, don’t act so pure and dont drag ur so call religion things in cosplay! First of all I think ur religion of woman wearing hijab is for them to protect their whatsoever body, that’s the main function. But nowadays so many of them turn it into fashion and even fking cosplay? Guys u are piece of shit!

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    2. first this country is not Islam Country
      second we are multicultural, i bet you cant say that in BALI 🙂
      third how ?

      get fckin t r i g g e r e d m9 typical Indon Muslim

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    3. Food for thought…The contents of Al-Quran shouldn’t be taken so easily and it’s better to truly understand and interpret them with our moral. After all, the Quran also talk about things that modern society now consider ‘taboo’ or at least ‘below the norm’ such as having several wives. As for the ulamas, what they say is based on their own interpretation as well, so it goes back to my first point.

      Next, AHOTAKU didn’t say anything about getting naked, and I think it’s kind of rude to tell him to go somewhere else if he wants to be ‘naked’. He’s made his point about Indonesia being a multicultural country, so it’s best if we stay open-minded that’s all.

      Lastly, yes everyone has pride in their religion/beliefs but the point is that we shouldn’t force it upon others. The writer is just expressing his thought, no need to bash him saying he is no better than theistic people.

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    4. You are typical butthurt people who considers eastern culture is always better than western. What’s up with “You wanna naked? just go to America then “? Bet all that you know about western is America huh?

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    5. 1. Yes, to confirm what the Koran allows and disallows, we have to refer to the Holy book itself and the judgment of the ulamas. But I think we can all agree, that not the Koran nor the ulamas have any dictations regarding cosplay. Like, AT ALL 8D;;

      2. dude, the op never went “western standard this, western standard that”, she simply says what’s acceptable in the west isn’t all acceptable in other cultures such as ours, so we need to keep that fact in mind when approaching a subject as sensitive as religion. Which is true, I’m sure you agree as well 🙂

      3. What? When did the op say this? ……Are you talking about “. The entire point of this meme, as I believe, is to show that a certain religious practice is “better” than others. Correct me if I’m wrong, but is it not a sin to be proud of something, while at the same time, dissing another practice?” cuz if you are, you are waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay out of context and need to re-read the paragraph again ^^;;

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    6. just want to comment:
      its not only western standart, japan and korea (eastern) too
      if you say “You wanna naked? just go to America then :)”
      what if somebody say “You wanna hijab? just go to Middle East then”

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    7. //first you talk that western standard this….
      and western standard that….
      dude…. you know? that you are not live in western, but in Indonesia.
      You wanna naked? just go to America then :)//

      You don’t get the point out here dude. What ahotaku meant we cannot forcefully put religion thing to cosplay because there’s something prohibited. That’s suck. We cosplay as character we like, doesn’t matter with the outfit. Its all wrong to express your love ?
      And its not about western standard, anime and anime character are from Japan and that s not western, even indonesia past are using half nude outfit like kemben. Well? Whos the one ruin it ? I’m not tell Islam but Arab culture. Being Islam but not being Arab. It OK right ?

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    8. Western standard ? Actually its from Japan, made by Japanese. I think Japanese are not western wannabe, the still have pride of their country. BTW Indonesia old days female using half topless outfit in their daily days. Its called kemben. Do we became a western after using that again ? People here getting strict about female wear because of Arab culture has ruin our culture slowly. I don’t mention Islam but the Arab itself. Can Muslim here became Muslim but not Arab ?

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    9. but what the OP said is true tho, we live in a country which the majority is muslim, so it feels like we live in a muslim country eventho we’re not tbh. We just had a long way history with Islam. Does our law state something that specifically said that we use muslim ‘rules’ to run this country? The law just kinda indirectly use it, because it’s a part of our culture too.

      and fyi, ‘western’ is not only America. Wake up.

      Like

    10. For starters, imma give you this. This hadith should be a saheeh one

      “The narrative told in the hadith of Abu Dawud. Aisyah ra said: “Once Asma bint Abi Bajr entered the Prophet’s house. At that time she wore a thin and opaque blouse. The Prophet turned away from her, saying, ‘Oh Asma, when a women has reached the age of menstruation, it’s not proper to be seen like that, other than this and this.’ The Prophet pointed to her face and hands.”

      You can see it, right? it is implied that when a women has reached her maturity, her body (except the hands and face) should be covered. You already know what that means right? i don’t wanna explain any further.

      Second of all, Sure, this is Indonesia, but you know what? this is not a Muslim’s country. Indonesia’s a constitutional country governed by the law and consists of many ethnic and race. And you only judge from the view of the majority? Sure, you’re not racist then, smfh. And look at the picture, is that picture TOO revealing? if so, then i pity your way of thinking.

      Lastly, in what sentence does he actually sounds having this “pride” you speak of? He’s merely stating his thoughts on the matter. Don’t lump him in the same boat as the other atheists that always attacking other people’s belief. Even i find it full of bull turds when i saw the meme for the first time, and i’m a Muslim. People like you that attacks with the excuse of “criticizing” is the reason why i even gave up on having a debate with theistic people. At least, as the author of this blog already stated, Atheistic people know the difference between “stating ideas” and “blatant attacks on personal belief”.

      Like

  3. I can’t help but agree, combining religion with cosplay, or anime in general is fucking bullshit. In Islam, women shouldn’t show they skin easily, while men should hold back their lust. Dunno about in another religion.
    In anime or the japanese media in general, such fanservice is common, especially the new ones. Otaku Muslim is a total hypocrite, surely hope they don’t watch anime with any fanservice.
    The thing is, cosplay isn’t part or from any religion, so you can’t use a religion standard for it.
    And yeah, it isn’t real cosplay, it’s just butchering the character.

    Well, the rest of your post is just anti-theism thingy, so I won’t comment on that. Arguing about that is a just a waste a time.

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  4. the caption on the picture was even too bias.like it was saying indirectly that if you dont wear a costume that covers your entire body like the right picture, then you are doing it for lust, or you want to be laid down?? thats crazy

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  5. Let’s just say these hijab or any other modified cosplay as not faithful to the original character. That’s all.

    That being said, if they start being so proud of themselves, then… well… People will lose respect.

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  6. “Cosplay allows you to do whatever the fuck you want.”

    Indeed. So let them dress up however they want. Its something everyone should enjoy doing. If they want to wear hijab, let them. If they want to go skimpy, let them. I doubt the cosplayer who wears hijab, and those who don’t bleeds differently.

    PS: Cosplay is just a dress up game, no need to go apeshit about people mixing religions to it or not. In the end, just let them enjoy whatever, and let idiots be idiots.

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  7. nah, I reckon shit such as ‘otaku muslim’ is fine. Religion is personal thing. I don’t give a shit whatever is your sexuality or religion or etc etc.

    But then, you don’t go around, butchering cosplay and stuffs, then using them for preaching.

    Honestly these retards can go fuck themselves. They use ANYTHING to preach lmao. Ngentot

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  8. I agree with the point that cosplay things cannot mix with the religion things, especially Islam (if you learn it rightly), and especially when the cosplayer is female. I think is fine (if they don’t do it excessively, or it can’t be just a vanity) for male muslim to cosplaying, but of course he shouldn’t cosplaying the female character.
    And also I agree that the ‘hijab cosplay’ is bullshit and hypocrite, even she wear hijab and cover all over her body, it still not right for her to do it. Using the word ‘hijab’ as justification to do the not-right thing as if it’s the right thing. It just a mirage. Hijab mean more than that, it’s for male and female. Hmm, I don’t want to judge them, maybe they are didn’t know it, and still didn’t learn Islam rightly (according to Koran, saheeh hadith, and salaaf understanding).
    And the last, I agree that religion is like a penis or a vagina, everybody have one, but it’s only a crazy psychotic exhibitionism person who start flinging it around in public and shouting, “My penis is the greatest and you all can suck it”, ‘sure’ that’s a problem.
    Hmm, sometime I objectify women, just like they do it to themselves, fake it (it’s my opinion), and it’s not right, I’m not right. Hmm and you’re right I am simple man, I see boobies, I masturbate, hehe, just kidding, I open Facebook for looking more bobbies, I can’t control my dick, if only I don’t practice my religion well that forbid me to do that.
    Islam is hard to accept, but it’s easy, but not to make it easily, there are tenets. I hope you finish your study on the Koran and may my God, Allah, give you His blessing and hidayah. Wallahu ta’ala a’lam.
    And not all hobbies are secular.
    Sorry for the long comment.

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  9. I agree with point that the cosplay things cannot mix with the religion things, especially Islam (if you learn it rightly), and especially when the cosplayer is female. I think is fine (if they don’t do it excessively, or it can be just a vanity) for male muslim to cosplaying, but of course he shouldn’t cosplaying the female character.
    And also I agree that the ‘hijab cosplay’ is bullshit and hypocrite, even she wear hijab and cover all over her body, it still not right for her to do it. Using the word ‘hijab’ as justification to do the not-right thing as if it’s the right thing. It just a mirage. Hijab mean more than that, it’s for male and female. I don’t want to judge them, maybe they didn’t know it, and still don’t learn Islam rightly (according to Koran, saheeh hadith, and salaaf understanding).
    And the last, I agree that religion is like a penis or a vagina, everybody have one, but it’s only a crazy psychotic exhibitionism person who start flinging it around in public and shouting, “My penis is the greatest and you all can suck it”, ‘sure’ that’s a problem.
    Hmm, sometime I objectify women, just like they do it to themselves, fake it (it’s my opinion), and it’s not right, I’m not right. Hmm, and you’re right; I am simple man, I see boobies, I masturbate, hehe, just kidding, I open Facebook to looking for more bobbies, I can’t control my dick, if only I don’t practice my religion that forbid me to do that.
    Islam is hard to accept, but it’s easy, but not to make it easily, there are tenets. I hope you finish your study on the Koran and may my God, Allah, give you His blessing and hidayah. Wallahu ta’ala a’lam.
    And not all hobbies are secular.
    Sorry for the long comment.

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  10. I think the picture above doesn’t mean to putting down another cosplayer bruh, it’s just tell you that woman should protect their dignity and using the pictures as an examples. They didn’t even mention and judging any cosplayer right?~~~

    And accept it, when you see a girl in a sexy dress, your lust will comes first (^.^)/ , and when you see a girl in a decent dress, you wouldn’t think about something dirty except you can’t control your mind and dick.

    Abour otaku muslim or else, i think just let them be. That’s their right just as your right to critize them.

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  11. everyone is allowed to do anything,u said.then a moslem who wear hijab can cosplay too.u cannot allowed that who wear a hijab shalt not mix it.

    a women who wear it,is the reason to protect the body.that’s the main reason.i don’t give a fuck that u have a religion or not.but we are not forced to have a religion.it’s whatever u believe in god or neither.if u believe in sin,then u should know that god does exist.but whatever

    people must respect others.so if u don’t like it,don’t said it in social media.

    Like

  12. Agree .. or should I say something else ?

    I’m a cosplayer and i’m islam
    I read this as I interest that other people have some thought just like me,
    I use hijab in my daily activities but I still do cosplay
    Just one time I want to feel how it is to go to anime event once thats it AFAID (I attend as cosplayer but w/o my hijab)
    I do my prayer regularly I love my prophet and God of course
    But not to be mean I hate hijabi cosplayer
    They are like playing with religion
    In Islam showing off skin or using tight dress that show your body is forbidden

    But then I read a blog that written by hijabi cosplayer that “she wants to do her duties as Islam and still want to be part of cosplayer” but its not . It still blocked way from how Islam used to be

    I have an idea like how like “don’t be setengah” lol if use hijab just use it properly
    But I can’t agree more if someone said “it’s cosplay they can do whatever they want”

    Its not like they think that our religion is better but maybe they just overdo the meme . This is Indonesia where muslim is more than half of thr population. You must watch youtube when some foreigners asked the same question how they think about our religion , its about bombing , they are weird, why they dress is like a curtain ….
    Should we mad ? While in our think is like : “why they too open to dress up, why their dress is to mini, etc” its just the matter of different perspective and all we can do is just balance it ryt

    What I hate about them is thinking that they are just like bunch of bad puns cause they don’t match what they wore (and most of ppl that hate hijabi cosplayer think about that rather than thinking about religion )

    But as you said in your article , my opinion is that you are no better than them too lol. /just the same kind of like them/ but I do respect your opinion
    Cheers 😉

    Like

  13. The main philosophy of hijab is to protect women against unwanted eyes of men. Modesty. Being cosplayers you must do the opposite. You cannot be both. I think Otaku Muslim represents some group of otakus who still in search for their identity, but already feel restricted and torned by their religious view. Someday as people grows up, they will learn to chose what’s suite them the best. Peace.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Cosplay = costume play . If u think ur hijab is costume then wear it ~ but……..is that costume? 😮 . dont get mad if not anyone think that as dignity lolol ~
    if u want to wear half nakid costume and show ur boobies or bagina then show it , but dont get mad if some ppl call u bitch or someone using your photo to masturbate , lolol ~
    Cosplay is just one of method to get attention for anyone & save ur pic :> no offense ~ Thats not a big deal , let them free about what they wear , dont be too serious when u play with costume o-o thats not fun o/ :>

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  15. please understand what cosplay is….

    imagine someone cosplay as Hardgay with a ‘peci (cap)’ and ‘sarong’ (sorry i don’t know the english of sarung ,lol), is is good? is it resemble the original character?
    if not than it’s not a cosplay.

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  16. That picture meme definitely a bad stereotype.

    I can love the woman who “buka-bukaan” with my heart and soul too.

    Maybe it’s the creator’s of that picture who have the mindset to look at women for lust after all.

    Somehow I agree with Ah Otaku.

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  17. I agree with Saya’s comment. Wearing hijab is all about modesty, while cosplay—whether you like it or not—essentially garners and requires attention, male’s included. So yeah, hijab and cosplay are contradictory. This is the most important point and a strong argument that I think could be included in your entry, author. Otaku culture is something that involves a lot of lust to be honest, I don’t really think we can incorporate it into Islam teachings (don’t know about any other religions).

    Another thing: that meme is insulting to non-hijabis, and—I’m not even a politically correct person but this term really fits—slut-shaming them. It’s blatant generalizing, really. To be fair, I don’t know if platonic couple where the woman doesn’t wear hijab does exist, BUT I personally know few couples, unmarried, whose girlfriends are wearing hijabs, that show heavy PDA on daily basis. See, the clothes don’t guarantee anything. Women are not one-dimentional being whose value only determined by what kind of clothes wrapping their bodies.

    I get it that you guys feel the need to share your religion’s teachings, but in a way that disrespect other group? Nah, I think it would only give your religion a bad name.

    Like

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