In recent weeks I’ve started to see more people commenting and speaking out about online bullying between Muslim women.
It’s interesting, because I never thought of the common “that’s not hijab” rants on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram etc. as bullying.
I used to compare it to the similar way women in the Muslim community would come up to a girl in the mosque and advise them on “proper hijab” if they felt she wasn’t following the rules.
I personally don’t like the online or in person approach, because one makes an assumption that:
- The girl is purposely trying not to be a “good Muslim” and it’s your duty to save her.
- The girl has no knowledge of Islam and it’s your duty to save her.
- Your interpretation is the only way and it’s your duty to save her.
This means that you are instantly judging her and her relationship with her religion and personal beliefs.
However, I do understand that there are those with pure and sincere intentions and they just want to see people headed in the right direction with their life. And I do understand that maybe some girls are searching for an answer and gladly accept all the help and information that comes their way.
But the stuff I’m talking about is quite sinister.
The bullying I’m talking about is coming from girls who possibly take a little bit of pleasure from tearing others down. The irony is that these insults and put downs are cloaked in the form of “religious advice”.
This topic touched me after seeing a few posts by friends and other bloggers about the need to stop online bullying toward Muslim women (and I’d like to extend it to both online and in-person).
It’s time to end the abusive commentary, horrible put-downs and character assassination.
It’s time to truly love one another and not let jealousy or envy control our actions.
It’s time we take a stand and not let this kind of thing become the norm.
I have seen other hijab fashion bloggers put up with way worse than me. They are criticized that they are not Islamic enough, they are called horrible people for putting on makeup or dressing their scarves up and even worse, some girls spread snarky rumors about them.
What saddens me is that these comments are things that turn people away. Enough negativity hurled your way, will surely make you feel like, “well if I get away from these people then this will stop”. You may not realize that your words can sting even from behind the computer, but they can.
We are all on a journey in this life to discover who we are, where we stand on things, and what we want to do with our lives.
And I’m sorry to break it down to those who may not realize it, but:
- An individuals journey is no one else’s business.
- It’s not up to the person hiding behind a computer screen to determine whether a person is a good enough Muslim.
- People need to let go of feeling that everyone else should measure up to their standards.
Instead of continuing on a rant, I’d like to end on a positive note.
Open up your heart to love and support everyone you encounter on your life journey.
If you don’t agree with something or someone, then find a way to move on.
Stop following people on Facebook or Instagram if they are doing something you are opposed to. No need to add more stress to your life.
And if you truly feel that you can’t sleep unless you give someone advice, do it privately if you know them well enough.
Life is so short and there is so much more to do with it than worry yourself with what everyone else is doing.