I was scrolling along on Instagram yesterday, randomly clicking through people in an attempt to find new makeup hacks, nice outfits, someone with a more interesting life than mine, etc… and I came across this girl. She was beautiful: She was Asian, like me. Her hair was styled to perfection and her makeup was impeccably applied. She wore a brightly coloured summer dress and she sat on the grass in an effortless pose, as she soaked up the rare England sun. I admired The Girl, wondering if she had written a product breakdown or perhaps her outfit details below. I was so going to copy that.

I scrolled down.

The first word that shot out at me was “slut”. I was in utter confusion. What had I accidentally clicked on? I scrolled back up, my eyes squinting, expecting to see some unwanted insta-porn. No… it was still The Girl. Something wasn’t right. I scrolled back down, this time more slowly, but sure enough, there it was. “Slut”. And further below that, the same person had written “you should be ashamed of yourself.” DaDesiPrincess99 clearly did not like The Girl. Curiosity took over my body and I clicked on the deadly “comments” button. And what I witnessed, was in fact the most shameful thing of all.

For some reason, it has become a hobby within the Asian community to write abusive comments on photos of girls who look vaguely attractive and partially confident. Scattered across England, there is a little army of keyboard warriors who clearly believe that they possess the soul of an Imam- and I see them slut shaming Asian girls constantly for what they do and especially for what they wear. I am sick and tired of it. Sometimes there are Islamic quotations being thrown around, but most of the time there is just pure, vulgar, derogatory, disgusting abuse. And the saddest part? The fact that a lot of the time, it is girls who are wearing a hijab who are writing these comments. Please, don’t take this as a generalisation of all girls who cover- the majority of you are beautiful, strong and amazing. But this is a fact that cannot be denied. There are numerous girls who do wear a hijab, who write these sorts of comments on the photos of girls who don’t. They carry some sort of feeling of superiority, because they are clearly better human beings that the rest of us whores who don’t cover our hair. Oh, it doesn’t matter if you have a face full of makeup and tight clothes- because your hair is covered so you are better than me. Oh, it doesn’t matter that you are in a shisha place with your boyfriend- because your hair is covered so you are automatically better than me. It most certainly does not matter that your headscarf always has a sneak peak of the front of your hair showing (and on your wedding day your entire hair is out) because you, my love, are a SAINT. You spent the whole of Ramadan abstaining from food but indulging in bitching about others- but you are the bloody Queen of the Muslimahs. Because clearly, the religion of Islam begins and ends at… what you wear.

This complete ignorance of how you actually live your life on a day to day basis is not acceptable. There are girls like Faryal Makhdoom who get blasted on an hourly basis because their photos are “wearing too much makeup” or because they dared to take a picture in a swimming pool… but here is a key question that no one seems to consider: WHAT BUSINESS IS IT OF YOURS? If you don’t like it, don’t look at it. NO ONE IS FORCING YOU TO. Don’t handpick Islamic quotations to support your vile vendettas; how “Muslim” are you when you are using such dirty language anyway? When did God give you the right to backbite, to judge, to bully, to swear, to humiliate? I’m fortunate I haven’t yet experienced such hatred on my page… but the irony of the whole situation still bemuses me. These people are so deluded that they are insulting another person’s character, when they are doing something so nasty themselves. I am by far not the greatest, most practising Muslim in the world but I sure as hell would never make a mockery out of other people’s sins, degrade them and upset them in such a way. If God can forgive a murderer, then who the hell are we to judge each other?

My mum always told me one thing since I was a child, and I guess that’s the best note to end this blog on. She said the hijab is beautiful thing, and we need to do it justice. She said we always must remember to not disrespect it. So before you put a hijab on your head, put a hijab on your heart. Make sure your heart is clean and pure. Then put it on your eyes; don’t look at bad things, be involved in sinful situations… and then, only then, put a hijab on your head to show the world what a great Muslim you are.

And perhaps in this case, please put a hijab on your fingertips too.

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