This is 17-year-old Lamyaa from Pennsylvania. Her dad is currently living in Saudi Arabia.
Lamyaa is a part of an active group chat started by one of her friends where the subject of President Trump and the tense political climate was brought up.
I personally had very strong views [on Trump] considering the presidency did impact me because I am an Arab, Muslim woman.
When she identified herself as a Muslim woman, and criticized the president’s views on Islam, one person in the chat tried to shut her down aggressively. They claimed she should stop defending a faith that wouldn’t allow her to “take that scarf off or [her] dad would beat” her.
Lamyaa said there were mutual friends in the group chat she didn’t know, but she believed the mere fact she was Muslim set this person off.
That guy didn’t feel comfortable so he said what he said.
Lamyaa said she is more or less used to this kind of response from non-Muslim Americans, but she felt she needed to prove the person wrong. So she texted her dad in Saudi Arabia.
Lamyaa didn’t intend to not wear her hijab. But she texted her dad to gauge his reaction: “I was thinking I want to take my hijab off,” she wrote to him.
Her dad responded with his support, saying it’s not his decision to make. “If it’s what you feel like you want to do, go ahead. I’ll support you no matter what,” he wrote back.
Lamyaa wanted to share her dad’s response publicly to dispel this kind of “mentality” people have toward all Muslim women who wear a hijab. Her texts with her dad have gone massively viral, with over 142,000 retweets currently.
Most of the responses to the tweet are in full support of Lamyaa, and of Lamyaa’s dad’s full support of her.
Also, for those of you scared of the text in Arabic, it says, ‘are you okay, my love?’ so don’t sweat it.
But there were some angered responses from people, and other Muslim women, who pointed out that they don’t feel the same kind of liberties about their hijabs from their parents. They felt Lamyaa’s tweet erased their oppression.
“They misunderstood my tweet, but I do understand their anger,” Lamyaa said in response. “My intention was in no way, shape, or form to speak over or offend anyone.”
“Women — in the Middle East specifically — face oppression but it is due to culture not religion,” she added.
“People often mix the two and say the cultural practices are religious practices. That is far from the truth.”
To these criticisms, she wanted to further clarify in a follow-up tweet/message.
Lamyaa said she’s been in contact with these 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 said.
Here’s what social networks say about this:
Liliana Lucia I wore a scarf around my head when it was windy and I had just gotten my hair done. Some ingnorant jackass at a gas station told me to “take off that head thing, we live in America”. First of all, I’m not Muslim, second why does it matter if I have something on my head religious or not? It’s my damn body and it’s none of anyone’s concern. The stigma that ladies have to deal with is sickening. When will people just mind their own damn business?
Imani Chanel It’s wonderful her dad let’s her choose for herself. That really gives the hijab true meaning. Her covering herself because she wants to. However there are a lot of shaming ideals that men can use to force women into choosing to wear it. That is not okay and exists in Christianity as well.
Zu Malek My sister took off her Hijab , no one in my family cared. She was the one who decided to wear it in the first place lol
Ileana Sanchez Smith I love when non-muslims speak on Islam like they have a clue what they’re talking about. I know several muslim women. I don’t know any that are oppressed. I know oppressed women who aren’t muslim and don’t wear a hijab. It’s all about the nouns, people, places, and things that motivate choices. Don’t paint with a broad brush like all women are forced to do this. They aren’t…and a lot don’t.
Bridget T. Reynolds Actually, I would disagree. I have met many Muslim men that agree. Especially after 9/11 where Muslims were targeted for being Muslim. I have spoken to women that stopped wearing it for their own safety. Which is terribly sad.
Almas Razakazi I have experienced something similar- through my own choice I wore the hijab from a young age but decided to remove it at the age of 16- I was nervous about telling my parents as I didn’t want to disappoint them but they made it into such a non-issue that those nerves were unfounded. They simply told me it was my decision to make and if I didn’t feel I was doing it for the right reasons then this was between me and God. I eventually started wearing it again 3 years ago and haven’t looked back since and my parents have been nothing but supportive! Ruby Razakazi ❤️
Beenish Naeem Sorry but there are millions of Muslim women who are not forced to wear hijab, including myself. From my perspective he’s part of the majority and not minority!