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Mipsterz creates community for young Muslim hipsters
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A screenshot from the Mipsterz video "Somewhere in America." - photo by Shelby Slade
While hipsters are mostly known for their obscure tastes in music and ironic facial hair, one group is seeking to redefine what it means to be both hipster and Muslim by combining the two.

Mipsterz is an online community of young Muslims which aims to celebrate both Islamic ideals and culture, as well as the individuality and uniqueness of each of its members.

A Mipster has a social mind and yearning for a more just order, a more inclusive community unbounded by stale categories, unwilling to plod blindly along in a world as obsessed with class as it is unmindful of its consequences, the group declares in somewhat of a manifesto. The Mipster is a bold, yet humble mind, open to disparate ideas and firm enough in conviction to act, speak out and drop the hammer when the time is right.

Mipster Layla Shaikley told CNN the group has allowed many to connect with other Muslims their age and have conversations through Facebook and email.

"Mipsterz has created a space where young Muslims can have open discussions, share their experiences and not be ashamed of who they are," Shaikley said.

Last year, the community received a lot of attention for a video showing women wearing the hijab riding skateboards and taking selfies. Some recognized the group for its works to show the individuality of Muslims.

I applaud Mipsterz for their initiative and creativity, Yazmine Hafiz wrote in the Huffington Post. The Muslim community needs more innovation, more risks, more boundary-pushing, because the response to this video is a wake-up call to what American Islam really needs an open mind.

Yet, others expressed concerns that they were choosing to define themselves by worldly standards that ignore their culture that sets them apart.

"We're so incredibly obsessed with appearing 'normal' or 'American' or 'Western' by way of what we do and what we wear that we undercut the actual abnormality of our communities. ... And in all of this, we might just lose that which makes us unique: our substance," Sana Saeed wrote in The Islamic Monthly.

Since the video, the community has grown and been given the opportunity to dispel misconceptions about Muslims and the Islamic faith.

Parents of Muslim children started reaching out to the group, (Mipsterz co-founder Abbas) Rattani says. Their kids felt foreign at times, the parents said, but after the video went viral, their classmates saw that being Muslim could be cool. Some even wanted to be Mipsters themselves, Haimy Assefa reported for CNN.