Online bullying of Muslim women by Muslim women

Mariam Sobh Hijab Fashion and Hijab Style Blog

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.

This article has 5 comments

  1. maryam

    I am so glad to read about this as a revert who has just really started to wear hijab every day. It is so hurtful when Muslims attack for such reasons. JazakAllahKhair for all ur postings, I am reading through them as I can. So helpful and encouraging.

  2. layla

    most importantly! 😀 ”

    Quran 49:11- O you who believe, no people shall ridicule other people, for they may be better than they. Nor shall any women ridicule other women, for they may be better than they. Nor shall you mock one another, or make fun of your names. Evil indeed is the reversion to wickedness after attaining faith. Anyone who does not repent after this, these are the transgressors.

  3. Maketta

    As Muslims I do believe we should remind each other because we are supposed to want good for each other. However, I don’t agree with being mean, nasty or rude. I do think the internet makes it easy for people to say whatever they want without considering someone’s feelings. Muslims are not doing what they are supposed to be doing Islamically hence all the fitnah that is going on. No one is putting into practice what Islam is really about (not everyone but it’s a big number). May Allah continue to guide and protect us all ! Ameen!

  4. Mariam Sobh

    Jodi, thank you for reading and responding 🙂

    I agree that it can be a blessing and curse to have the internet, I believe it allows people to unleash their mean thoughts when in the past they would just think it and let it go.

  5. Jodi

    Bravo Mariam, well said my sister!! That is why we should judge not! We don’t know the heart of any one and Allah knows our heart the best. I read somewhere online, “We should be careful how we judge others, as we may be looking at them through our own “unclean windows.” Women go through enough already, why add to their misery? I was taught that if you point one finger at someone else, there are always three fingers pointed back at you! That you need to check your own heart, mind and body before you even try to check someone else.

    As sisters we should support each other and if there is anything we should say, then it should be done always in private and with the right intentions. How about making du’a for that person and letting Allah minister to their heart. We need to look at our own selves because I believe that there are times we are in the wrong but no one is around to send the haram police (and I can’t stand that term!) to us and so we think we get away with it! We don’t! Allah sees all and knows all and only His way is the best!

    We need to support and encourage each other, not make each other feel less than what we are. Who gets the happiness out of that, less it is for evil gain? hmmm…..Conviction is very different than condemnation. We don’t have the right to either, only Allah does.

    I feel that this internet online business can really be a blessing and a curse at times. People sit behind nameless and faceless computers and condemn other people that they don’t know anything about really. No one can see them or counsel them on their behavior. Youtube does not show the true character of anyone and just because people choose to make videos on some aspect of their lives does not mean you know them or they are your friend or enemy. You don’t know their heart.

    I see that these young girls online can be very vicious and cruel to other women and girls. I just wonder how they are raised in their homes and what in them gives them the ‘freedom’ to act so wrongly. It’s very sad to me. Sometimes ‘freedom’ is not that free at all. It always comes with a price.

    Thanks for sharing this important message Mariam. I hope more sisters will learn from it and truly question their heart and love for Allah in their walk.

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