17-year-old Lamyaa from Pennsylvania had her share of online anonymous harassment. Her Islamic faith is the continuous target of slander from Islamophobic people she never even met. A great example is the following message she received in a group chat:
A screenshot shows us a revolting message that reads “Stop defending Islam B**** shut up you couldn’t take that scarf off or your dad would beat your a**”. With scarf, the messenger clearly referred to her hijab.
“Personally, being an Arab Muslim woman in America, these sorts of hateful messages aren’t uncommon,” Lamyaa explains.
Fortunately, the story didn’t end there! Lamyaa chose to answer this Islamophobic troll in the gentlest of ways. She decided to text her father with the simple statement “I want to take my hijab off”. And his response was loud and clear (even for those in the back):
“Sweetheart, that’s not my decision to make. That’s no man’s decision to make,” he tells her. “If it’s what you feel like you want to do, go ahead. I’ll support you no matter what.” He concludes his texts by asking if everything is okay and if something had happened.
Lamyaa’s tweet consisted of both the hateful message and the heart-warming conversation with her father and received more than a thousand likes and retweets on Twitter. Her course of action led her to receive many supportive messages of people, many of which even asked to learn more about Islam and wanting to be a part of it!
The most astounding aspect about this story is that Lamyaa chose not to fight fire with fire. Instead, she tried to extinct it with proper information and education while changing the stereotypical view people have on Islam, Muslim men and women, and the hijab.
“If I had one thing to say to people who have misconceptions about Islam, it would be: Speak to a Muslim,” Lamyaa states.
We could all learn a thing or two from Lamyaa’s story. Now guess what, haters? Next time you spit words at us, we will not spit truth but gracefully show you it!
This article is written by Siham Machkour