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A Letter from an Angry Hijabi
Jinan Deena
Wednesday, May 4, 2016 - 11:48 pm (25 Comments)

Dear Muslim Men,

I don’t need another enemy.

Last night, I came across a tweet that someone on my feed retweeted. It was authored by a black Muslim female who wears hijab: “Let me just listen to Views two more times and I’ll have all the lyrics memorized like it’s Quran.”

It came as no surprise that when I clicked on the tweet my acquaintance had posted (he is a friend of a friend), I saw the myriad comments shredding this girl. Absolutely tearing her apart.

Responses by men included things like:

“Take off your hijab.”
“You’re a disgrace to Islam you n*****.”
“Go kill yourself.”
And much more…

I was appalled. The men posting these comments were Muslims. Muslims who, in their way of explaining it, were trying to “help and advise her.” They were so “offended” by this girl’s tweet that they felt compelled to show her the error of her ways. Because, of course, us women cannot think for themselves. We need you men to guide us.

Listen up, men. You always claim to be supportive, yet when someone makes a mistake, you attack and ostracize. You turn errors into a ticket out of Islam. And make no mistake, the group who tends to receive this kind of treatment the most are Muslim women, namely those of us who wear hijab.

We blame Donald Trump and Ted Cruz for hating Muslims. But how can we talk about them when you are just as bad? Being deliberately attacked by men who claim to be our brothers is becoming a problematic trend. You can’t blame the division amongst us on those outside of the community. You’re doing a pretty damn good job of that on your own.

You might say, “Well, it’s only Twitter.” And I would have to disagree and say, no it’s not “just Twitter.” We all know that cyber-bullying is a real thing. When you write insensitive things online, they are there forever (thank you, screenshots!). Hiding behind a computer makes you nothing but a coward. It’s so easy to be the big man behind a computer. But I have to ask… Would you have the guts to say that to my face?

The problem is that you men (ok, some of you, but too many of you) think you have the right to judge. God didn’t place you here to pick out our mistakes.Trust me. He can handle that job just fine. Your job is to focus on being the best person you can be. It’s okay to want to truly give someone advice. Telling her to kill herself is probably not the way. Neither is saying, “You don’t represent Islam!” You know who is not representing Islam? You!

Oh, and another thing. Stop using the term “hoejabi” to describe a female whose form of hijab you don’t agree with. It’s degrading, and believe it or not, it’s not your place to correlate the way she dresses to her level of faith.

Let me make it clear to you one last time. Muslim men, in no way, have a right to tell Muslim women how and why hijab is worn. Don’t underestimate our intelligence. We know what hijab is. And most importantly, you are not women! (Yes, I had to write that.) You do not have a target on your actual body, tying you to the most attacked religion on the planet. It is bad enough we have to shoulder hate from Islamophobes. We don’t need it from you too.

I have personally experienced many attacks from your sort. Being an outspoken, proud feminist will attract that. It’s almost like you forgot that Islam was the first religion to give women rights that other societies had failed to establish for us. You act as though the examples of women in the beginning of Islam didn’t include a business owner, or a leader of an army. Maybe you should go back to your roots and try learn what true Islam is. Then you can impart your “wisdom” on us measly women.

Yours Truly,
An Angry Hijabi

* Jinan Deena is a Palestinian American who enjoys writing about subjects that are controversial. A feminist and activist, she frequently advocates for women's rights and humanitarian issues.


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