After a friend of a friend told 17-year-old Lamyaa that her father would "beat" her if she took her hijab off, she set about to prove him wrong — with her dad's help.
Lamyaa told BuzzFeed that she is part of a group chat that her friend started, when the conversation turned to Donald Trump and the current political climate.
"I personally had very strong views [on Trump] considering the presidency did impact me because I am an Arab, Muslim woman," she told BuzzFeed. When Lamyaa mentioned that she was a Muslim woman and challenged Trump's views on Islam, one person in the group that she hadn't known decided to shut her down, writing, "Stop defending Islam Bitch shut up you couldn't take that scarf off or your dad would beat your ass."
"That guy didn't feel comfortable so he said what he said," she told BuzzFeed about the texter.
So Lamyaa texted her father, who lives in Saudi Arabia, asking his thoughts on her taking off her hijab.
Since this is a mentality a lot of you seem to have pic.twitter.com/CQn5L8zibS— l a m y a a (@lxmyaa) April 15, 2017
"I did feel the need to prove him wrong,” she told Shemazing. “And that’s where messaging my dad came in. I didn’t consider taking off my scarf, I just wanted to have a response from my dad to prove that what he said is false."
Her tweet has gone viral since she posted it on Friday, amassing over 143,000 retweets and 314,000 likes at the time of writing. While many Twitter users praised her for dispelling misconceptions and stereotypes about Islam, others pointed out that not every Muslim woman has the same freedoms.
Lamyaa addressed this in a subsequent tweet, clarifying that she didn't mean to erase anyone else's experiences.
"They misunderstood my tweet, but I do understand their anger," Lamyaa told BuzzFeed. "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 continued. "People often mix the two and say the cultural practices are religious practices. That is far from the truth."
Indeed, not every Muslim woman has the same experience Lamyaa does — but her texts with her father show that not every Muslim woman suffers from oppression in the same way, and now more than ever, it's important for us to understand a wide berth of experiences.
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