There has been a rise in Muslim fashion bloggers removing their hijab recently and the Muslim community is having none of it.
Simply take a look at Dina Tokio’s comments on YouTube and Instagram. The constant barrage of hate she is receiving for displaying a few strands of hair or, as seen in her earlier videos, comments around how she wrapped her scarf.
I wore a hijab since I was in primary school and thought it was the norm and anybody who didn’t wear it wasn’t a Muslim. I see this in my 9 year old sister now who constantly questions if I follow Islam because I don’t wear a hijab. I remember in Islamic school I told a teacher that a girl who was probably 9 wasn’t wearing her hijab because to me it was seen as a big taboo.
This was my frame of mind till I attended a girls school in year 9. Suddenly I was surrounded by people from other religions along with Muslims who didn’t wear a hijab and I really struggled with this culture shift. I guess this was the point in life where I became too ‘western’ for my parents.
In the first 2 years of uni, I would go to the bus station or shopping mall toilets to get changed out of my hijab and burka because I stopped feeling comfortable with it. I felt constantly trapped by it because it was never my choice in the first place. It wasn’t until 3rd year of university that I finally told my parents I didn’t want to wear it anymore. Since then, I’ve felt a real change in the community of Muslims and how they behaved around me. I was no longer invited to talks, my mum’s friends stop being overly caring towards me and my dad ‘gave up’ on me.
I was seen as a whore in my dad’s eyes who was making choices in life because I wanted a man around me. People like my father can’t understand that I was on a journey in figuring out my own identity and that all the hateful comments I was receiving from family members was only proving the fact that removing my hijab was the right thing to do and pushing me away from Islam.
Not too long ago my uncle, who used to abuse his ex-wife and parents, told me that I was letting down the family and tarnishing their izzat by removing my hijab. Because apparently physically abusing your wife isn’t?
Is the hijab the only thing that makes us Muslim? I’ve heard from guys who have been clubbing and dated who say they want a hijabi wife to make them a better Muslim. No, we can’t hypnotise you into praying 5 times a day. We don’t exist to rehabilitate you as Muslims and as people.
People like those who comment on Dina’s posts only make me question if I’m allowed to call myself a Muslim because I don’t wear a hijab. It wouldn’t matter if I prayed and had the compassion, humility and kindness Islam sought. It’s the personal autonomy that threatens many and, in their eyes, makes me a bad Muslim. I’m only a Muslim if I wear the hijab.
Ok cool it is 2am and I have therapy at 9.
Bye bye ~