Lamyaa, a 17-year old Pennsylvania teen, was in a heated group chat discussing politics when she called out Donald Trump’s treatment of Muslims. Shortly after, a friend of a friend asked her to stop defending her religion.
“Stop defending Islam Bitch,” the message read according to screenshots Lamyaa posted on Twitter. “You couldn’t take that scarf off or your dad would beat your ass.”
To prove how ignorant that assumption was, Lamyaa texted her father and told him she wanted to take off her hijab.
“If it’s what you feel like you want to do, go ahead,” her father said in response, according to screenshots posted to Twitter. “I’ll support you no matter what.”
Lamyaa then posted the two screenshots side-by-side on Twitter.
(Lamyaa, who did not give me her last name, told me that the person who made the original ignorant comment didn’t respond to the screenshots of the messages with her dad).
The post has gone viral, with over 143,000 retweets and 314,000 likes. Lamyaa has used the attention to call out Islamophobia and ignorance.
Many people tweeted in support of the teen, but some users pointed out that while Lamyaa is not being forced to wear the hijab, there are women who still are.
“Yes, a lot of women are forced to where the hijab. That’s horrible and I have [been] one to point that out numerous times,” Lamyaa said in a follow-up tweet. “That oppression however is not what the hijab symbolizes, it’s not why women wear it. I personally chose to wear the the hijab, for myself and for god.”
“I will always stand up for others and it breaks my heart to know that some women do not get to make a choice in what they do with their OWN bodies,” she added.
Despite her father’s supportive response and the current Islamophobic climate, Lamyaa said in a tweet that she does not plan to stop wearing her hijab.