A 17-year-old trying to shed light on the racism faced by Muslims since President Donald Trump's ascension to power quickly turned ugly for the teen as threats began pouring in.
The girl, identified only as Lamyaa, was discussing politics on a chat group created by her friend; the subject of discussion was to do with the ordeals Muslims face. When the 17-year-old mentioned she was from Saudia Arabia and gave some strong views on the group chat, she was subjected to racism.
Lamyaa explained that she did not support Trump because he does not speak for Muslim Americans, Latinx, people of color or women.
"He has insulted almost every group of people other than straight white christian (sic) males," Lamyaa texted. "How do you expect me to stand up for and respect a man that has done nothing but dehumanize everyone that doesn't look like him?"
It was at this point a bigoted man felt it was his right to humiliate the girl because she was a Muslim from Saudi Arabia living in America, so he tried to silence Lamyaa by declaring that her father would "beat her a**" if she decided to take her head scarf off.
"Stop defending Islam b**** shut up you couldn't take that scarf off or your dad would beat your a**," the text read.
Lamyaa, who has been subjected to such Islamophobia previously, like many Muslim woman in Trump’s America, felt the need to correct this person’s misconception about Muslim women, so she texted her father — and his supportive response was everything.
“I was thinking I want to take my hijab off," she texted her father.
"If it's what you feel like you want to do, go ahead. I'll support you no matter what," he responded.
Lamyaa then shared her father’s response on Twitter, in an attempt to clear all the misconceptions people commonly hold for hijab wearing women, thinking they are generally oppressed or forced to wear the hijab.
Since this is a mentality a lot of you seem to have pic.twitter.com/CQn5L8zibS— l a m y a a (@lxmyaa) April 15, 2017
The tweet has gone viral since, with overwhelmingly positive and supportive messages.
@lxmyaa Yes, everybody should be in tottal control of thier lives, & not be told what to wear or what not 2 wear! Whatever U Wanna Do , U Decide!— DavidAlexanderHagan (@DudeHagan8570) April 15, 2017
@lxmyaa I get what message you're trying to send, shame some people are too ignorant to realize this though. And your dad is so sweet!— Stargirl (@MabelleKreidy) April 15, 2017
also, for those of you scared of the text in arabic, it says "are you okay, my love?" so don't sweat it https://t.co/MRBfjF40to— sonia (@pneusonia) April 15, 2017
Not everyone was taken with Lamyaa’s post. One woman complained that she wishes to take off the hijab but can’t because she doesn’t have the freedom to make that kind of a decision. Others said that Lamyaa’s father’s response was an exception.
@lxmyaa So because you're not oppressed, therefore no one is oppressed...so the countless of girls (like myself) who do want to take it off, but— Fateemz (@athenaaaaaa777) April 15, 2017
This is sweet an everything but it ignores/ misrepresents the fact that there are so many places where no hijab = beating or murder. https://t.co/1UTqRRD6V3— Sugabelly ?? (@sugabelly) April 16, 2017
Later, Lamyaa made it clear that her intention was not to deny that some women are in fact forced to wear the hijab, but there are many like her who chose to wear a headscarf out of their own will.
The teenager said she was in contact with such women. "I tweeted some users to tell them that if there is anything I can do to help them that I am here, and that I am so sorry for what they face.”
She explained that there was hypocrisy in the way non-Muslim individuals — particularly conservatives — in the U.S. claim to be concerned for women's rights after perceiving that all Muslims were misogynists.
Banner and thumbnail credit: Reuters