When it comes to strictly religious societies, there's a lot of shame and gossip that goes around. I wouldn't say it's the norm from the communities I grew up in. Most people just minded their business, went to the mosque, and did their own thing.
There were a few Judgey McJudgersons who kind of ruined it for everybody else, but for the most part, people were able to do what they want without much backlash from their families or community. Hell, I've gone pretty much full rogue and have managed to keep all of my Muslim friends and family members. My wife also used to wear hijab and has long since removed it and, with the exception of a few people who think it's their place to call her out on it (when I'm not around, I might add) nothing's really changed in her life.
But that's not to say there aren't still Islamic countries and communities that use the hijab as an excuse to control women. But to assume that the only reason a woman would wear hijab is due to her family forcing her to wear it, is pretty darn insulting to the woman wearing it.
Which is exactly what happened to 17-year-old Lamyaa from Pennsylvania, who's all but accustomed to receiving harassment online for being Muslim.
"Personally, being an Arab Muslim woman in America, these sort of hateful messages aren't uncommon," she told Upworthy.
Someone was offended by the positive opinion Lamyaa had of her faith, and challenged her by saying that the only reason she was wearing a hijab was because her father was forcing her into it.
So Lamyaa texted her father and told him that she was going to take her scarf off. She then screenshot the conversation to prove a point.
Her father's message rang loud and clear, shutting up the troll.
Lamyaa: Baba, I want to tell you something.
Lamyaa's father: Talk to me [asks her if she's OK in Arabic]
Lamyaa: Yeah I'm okay. I was thinking. I want to take my hijab off.
Lamyaa's father: Sweetheart that's not my decision to make. 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?
After Lamyaa posted her conversation online, it's received over 140,000 retweets and more than 300,000 likes.
no i'm not taking my hijab off— l a m y a a (@lxmyaa) April 15, 2017
People tweeted messages of support and love for Lamyaa and her father.
Others were saying that the isolated hatred Muslim people were a target of is disproportionate to what other ethnic groups experience.
Lamyaa posted the screenshots of her convo to fight stereotypes about Muslim women, and men, when it comes to the hijab.
"People believe that Islam is misogynistic, hateful, or violent, and I think that stems from their inability to differentiate culture and religion. Islam is a religion and, like all religions, it is what you bring to it."
Lamyaa also pointed out that she wasn't trying to say that there aren't Muslim women who are forced into wearing hijab - because there are.
But she wanted to point out that there are tons of Muslim women, like Lamyaa, who wear the Hijab because they choose to, and to assume that they're being forced into it is dismantling their agency as women, based solely on their religion. (h/t upworthy)