This Dad’s Response To His Daughters Question About Wearing A Hijab Has Gone Viral

April 19, 2017
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Lamyaa, a 17-year-old Muslim teen from Pennsylvania felt the brunt of hate which lives on the Internet these days. Instead of fighting back with more hate, she did so with truth and honesty!

It all started during a group chat about the US president and the current political environment, the conversation got a bit heated. After Lamyaa identified herself as a Muslim woman and complained about the president’s opinions about Islam, someone responded, “Stop defending Islam Bitch shut up you couldn’t take that scarf off or your dad would beat your ass.”

By “scarf,” the person was referring to the hijab, which is a head covering that some Muslim women wear as a sign of their faith.

Although Lamyaa is used to negative and ignorant attitudes from non-Muslim Americans such as this commenter, she said she wanted to prove this person wrong, so she texted her dad in Saudi Arabia.

“Baba, I want to tell you something,” she wrote.

Talk to me,” he answered and then asked her if she was okay in Arabic.

“Yeah, I’m okay,” she responded. “I was thinking. I want to take my hijab off.

“Sweetheart that’s not my decision to make,” he said to her. “That’s no man’s decision to make. If it’s what you feel like you want to do, go ahead. I’ll support you no matter what. Is everything okay? Did something happen?”

Lamyaa took a screenshot of the conversation and posted to Twitter and since then, the post has gone viral and has been shared over 144,000 times.

“I have gotten many heartwarming messages of people showing me support, but also of people wanting to learn more about Islam or wanting to be a part of it,” she told Upworthy. “I felt like I could help in a way, and it was very humbling.”

 “People believe that Islam is misogynistic, hateful, or violent, and I think that stems from their inability to differentiate culture and religion,” she explained. “Islam is a religion and, like all religions, it is what you bring to it.”

The response to Lamyaa’s tweet is largely positive, with some Muslim women pointing out that they don’t feel the same freedom to remove their hijab that she does. Lamyaa clarified that oppression is cultural and not due to the Muslim faith.

Women — in the Middle East specifically — face oppression but it is due to culture not religion,” she said. “People often mix the two and say the cultural practices are religious practices. That is far from the truth.”

In the follow-up note, she clarified even further by expressing her commitment to standing up for the right of others to choose what they do with their own bodies and how they express their faith.

They misunderstood my tweet, but I do understand their anger,” Lamyaa said to BuzzFeed News. “My intention was in no way, shape, or form to speak over or offend anyone.”

Many women wear a hijab for personal reasons, just like it is an individual decision for a woman to wear a cross necklace. It’s the same principle.

I wear my hijab because it is sacred to me,” Lamyaa told Upworthy. “It displays my connection to my faith and God. When I have the hijab on, I act kinder and I am more aware of what I say and do. This is because not only am I representing myself, but I am representing a faith much bigger than me.”

Lamyaa offers a simple way of dealing with these misconceptions:

“If I had one thing to say to people who have misconceptions about Islam, it would be: Speak to a Muslim,” Lamyaa said. “Have a conversation with a Muslim. Many of us are willing to answer any questions and clear up any misconceptions. Muslims are not some separate group. We are a part of America. We are people.”

 

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