It was against the bleak backdrop of Islamophobia that eventually led to some peace loving Muslims to restore the image of Islam into the gentle, compassionate and forbearing religion that it is; to gradually restore respect and return the glory for a religion that was once celebrated for its contribution to progress and social development.
Dato’ Raja Rezza Shah felt a calling to join others in countering Islamophobia. Not one to impress his ideas forcibly, Dato’ Raja Rezza favours a gentle approach that seeks to entice and attract his audience. He also subscribes to the belief that ‘people may doubt what you say but they will always believe what you do’. In short, seeing is believing.
He strongly felt that the international community needed to see and experience the vibrancy of Islam; to be presented with a ‘visual language’ that would enable them to regard and speak of the faith positively. The brilliant multicultural tapestry of the Islamic diaspora must be shared with the international community to break down the negative Muslim stereotype. By focusing attention on its kaleidoscopic beauty, the message of Islam can be de-politicised and imbued with a gentler identity.
All these values and beliefs, together with his knowledge of Islam, his bloodline, skills and experience in a myriad of careers (please refer to topic “Founder and Chairman”), culminated in the inevitable. The Islamic Fashion Festival (IFF) was conceptualised and launched in 2006 with an overall objective is to win the hearts and minds of Muslims and non-Muslims alike to not hate or reject and see Islam as restrictive and uncompromising. Its aim: “To build an updated visual and cultural reference from which Islam can be related to the modern world through the creative arena of fashion divorced from political, economic and social strife”.