A 17-year-old Muslim girl from Pennsylvania was harassed by strangers online for most of her life. Being a Muslim girl in America isn't easy, and people constantly feel compelled to bully the teen for her beliefs. It happened so often that she was used to it, but one online bully posted a question that she couldn't just ignore. She decided to look into it and see if he was right.
Lamyaa says she's fairly thick-skinned about getting rude comments online. "Personally, being an Arab Muslim woman in America, these sorts of hateful messages aren't uncommon," she explains.
But last week, a complete stranger tweeted Lamyaa, and the teen couldn't get what she read out of her head. "Stop defending Islam Bit*h shut up you couldn't take that scarf off or your dad would beat your ass," the tweet read.
Lamyaa assumed the uneducated person was talking about her hijab — her traditional Muslim head covering. While she couldn't care less what bullies think, she had to wonder if this were true. She decided to contact her dad and find out.
"Baba, I want to tell you something," she texted.
"Talk to me," her father texted back, asking her if she was OK.
"Yeah I'm okay. I was thinking. I want to take my hijab off," she said, waiting for the response with baited breath.
"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?" He responded.
Lamyaa was reassured by her father's wonderful support. She posted the bully's message, as well as the exchange she had with her father, on social media. She's gotten hundreds of thousands of views.
"I have gotten many heartwarming messages of people showing me support, but also of people wanting to learn more about Islam or wanting to be a part of it," she said. "I felt like I could help in a way, and it was very humbling."
Lamyaa acknowledges that some women are forced to wear their hijab, and she agrees it's horrible, and oppression. But she also points out that many Muslim women choose to wear it for personal reasons.
"I wear my hijab because it is sacred to me," Lamyaa says. "It displays my connection to my faith and God. When I have the hijab on, I act kinder and I am more aware of what I say and do. This is because not only am I representing myself, but I am representing a faith much bigger than me."
She urges people that if they're curious about Islam, they should talk to a Muslim instead of listening to comments others say.
Source: Up Worthy
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