This is something that has bugged me for a while now. Since the written rise of Dina Tokio’s fame, her fan base has gotten larger and larger. Whilst I have no problem with influencers and their portrayals to the world (each to their own), I do have a problem with being part of a culture that has been titled as ‘toxic’ by a largely muslim network of women! Especially since it has no relevance to what a hijab actually is.
To some a scarf may be a cloth that drapes around their head, but I publicly apologise as I can’t conform to this very lightly surfaced definition of what it is . It is SO much more to me. It is the character that encapsulates strength to submit to my lord, it is the kindness, the mannerisms, the push that enforces me to speak up when needed. It is a piece of empowerment to me. It is not just a covering of my hair, but a part of my faith and quite effectively, a piece of my personality. It is a love for preserving a piece of me that only my nearest and dearest are exposed to. It is a kindness and love and compassion for others when I’m out. It is a head-dress that pushes me to hold the door open for someone, to help someone with their heavy shopping, to offer a little help when I can, because then I am identified as a muslim who helped. Not one who is titled as toxic.
Perhaps your criticism for Dina taking her scarf off (or whatever it is her intentions are) don’t come from the fact that you’re a hijabi, but come from what is inner. Do not make a negative label of something that is important to many peoples faith, and is written in a holy book sent by God. It is ridiculous to me to think that a culture may be arising where wearing a headscarf makes you toxic! Your comments and feelings toward a public figure are your own, but don’t think its okay to degrade someone because of their religious decisions. We can’t be picking sides of ‘Is it okay to take your scarf off’ to ‘I will publicly humiliate someone who has’. I have friends who are beautiful souls and don’t wear a scarf, but maybe you do cover and do not carry a character that falls under hijab. Perhaps we’ve brought the meaning of modesty to an indefinite surface that removes its characteristics. Modesty is so much more than we make it out to be. It is important to the faith? yes. It is mentioned in the holy book? yes. Yet, everyones on their own religious journey. Just as some of us struggle to commit to other duties, we’re on our own path to god. It is a personal relationship, and although public figures may be defined by their dress, it is a grotesque ideology that a hijabi community, an item I identify myself with, is toxic. Criticisms aside, we are one nation! What on earth are we doing by labelling people within our own, despite outside of our own?! Yes some people have bad intention, some may be openly toxic, but do not label a whole based on a few. It is quite unbelievable that I’d even be writing this in the first place.
Since when did we become so concerned about the things that are outward and worldly? To me, as long as a person in covering what they’re told to cover or are trying in their own way thats all that counts. Hijabi or not, if they’re trying to reach better versions of themselves then thats what is important. The fact that their heart drives them to be better is the ultimate thing we should be looking toward, and if it isn’t how can YOU help them? It is only as hard as you make it. Be strong, be kind, and be faithful. We’re one nation, one people. Enough with the labels that we are creating. Start to have faith in each other to be better, not degrade and label each other to what we see. You have the power of words, so use them for better change. I for one am sick of opening my Instagram page and seeing virtual arguments of people debating on a topic that discusses whether or not taking a scarf off makes you a bad person. Faith starts in your heart. If you’re commenting things that are destructive and unkind, then that doesn’t come from a hijab I believe in. Everything starts in your heart, so take the faith from within and place it for the world to see. Whatever that means to you.