Mona Haydar who is known as a rapper, poet and activists recently sparked controversy over an Instagram post she shared with her 68.4k followers on the 14th of November 2018, the post was about the hijab and how she sometimes wears a beanie for safety:
“When I wear a beanie, I often don’t wear makeup, like today. I try to attract the least amount of attention possible. Take up the least space possible because safety is no joking matter.”
The full post can be read below:
“There are some places where I will not wear a culturally arab looking hijab. Where I rock a beanie instead — Because let’s be honest, America is a violent place for lots of different kinds of bodies. With a beanie I am *ethnically ambiguous* and that is a privilege not all have and that can mean I am mostly safe because I can “pass” but I still inhabit this woman’s body and I am afraid when I am on my own in certain places and must take precautions to stay safe. Hijab is a privilege of safety and community. Let us not forget that. When I wear a beanie, I often don’t wear makeup, like today. I try to attract the least amount of attention possible. Take up the least space possible because safety is no joking matter. Islamophobia, racism, xenophobia etc are LETHAL. We must be in the work of building loving and affirming community that fosters love and support. My page is a space for that. My work in the world is that. Some will say that “passing” like I am today keeps the world at its status quo and that my presence must be unapologetically Muslim so people can stretch or expand themselves. NO. My body, my being, my existence is not for the benefit of the colonizer or the lowest common denominator. My body is here for me and my soul’s work in the world. Period. It’s not my job to be a challenge to white supremacy when it is a proven rapist colonizing dominating entity. My job is not to expand their minds. I will not put myself in harms way to educate. I will survive and thrive and they will learn to catch up and become educated by humbling themselves. 🔊 check my story for more on this.
Edit: *** And for people picking apart the “culturally Arab looking hijab” piece: what I am saying is that Arab supremacy has no place in conversations about hijab. For instance: Indonesian, Senegalese and Chinese hijabs are valid and look very different from Saudi Arabian hijab even tho Syrians or Saudis will try and tell everyone else how their way is the only real and right way. Which is false. Dr Umar Faruq Abdallah wrote an amazing article which I recommend to all called “Islam and the Cultural Imperative.” “
The reactions from the community on both Instagram and Twitter have been mixed, with many empathising and supporting her fears whilst others have called her out for calling a beanie a hijab. Here’s what some feel and think below:
Dear @mona_haydar, the way a woman chooses to practice hijab is b/w her and God until she brings her social media followers into the discussion. When an influencer justifies the choices she's made to her audience, she becomes responsible for how they practice what she's preaching
— Rowayda (@EdgarAllanRo) November 13, 2018
Between Dina Torkia and Mona Haydar, colour me supremely unimpressed by women who claim to push female empowerment and play on a culture of appealing to hijabis… only to make excuses and justifications for removing hijab entirely – and publicizing it blatantly.
— The Salafi Feminist (@AnonyMousey) November 15, 2018
mona haydar’s post on the hijab was so dramatic and fake woke pls stop pretending you don’t live around a huge muslim community and there are other muslims who can’t take off their hijabs to avoid islamophobia or racism bc of the fact they are black or brown
— farah (@stressedmuslim) November 14, 2018
This is when a woman is so strong, so smart and so beautiful and those stupid online judges start talking shit whether a beanie is hijab or not. Will you please shut up and mind your own business people. Please. #weneedthatpaypalifyouwanteducation btw🤯
— Sare (@sareyaziyor) November 13, 2018
All I’ve been reading and hearing about lately is peoples opinions regarding Mona Haydar & Dina Tokio’s ideas/practice of Hijab and all I have to say is… social media. is. a. f******g. CANCER!!
— rana (@westsidesyrian) November 14, 2018
Sister, don’t take us for dumb. You might be wearing ‘no makeup makeup’ but you got it on, clearly. But anyways, do your thing, slowly dilute into society if that’s what you wish.
— Lala 🍒 (@lalalovepasta) November 13, 2018
She’s just hungry for attention lol my mom wears hijab loud and proud despite how nasty people have been to her in NYC/ Virginia/ Georgia/ Florida. It’s the difference btwn doing something for the Creator and ignoring that to please his creations. 🤷🏻♀️
— Lala 🍒 (@lalalovepasta) November 13, 2018
been trying so hard to articulate these exact thoughts, but have been torn down by fellow Muslims lately because I’m not wearing hijab as much anymore. much love, sis 💕
— witchy bitch (@t_hazer) November 13, 2018
For your haters: hijab can be removed for safety or if it causes emotional distress. Islam is about making the best choice for yourself not following what others think. If you don’t understand that than you’re a slave of your culture but not of Allah. Do you, Mona.
— MaryKhalaf (@MzMaryKhalaf) November 14, 2018