The YouTube “dawah” scene has become a breeding ground for self-righteous, entitled and highly misogynistic religious preachers who frantically wave their hands at the screen and put on a terrible Arabic accent. It is a nightmare for Muslims and frankly, I’m bloody sick of it.
“OH, HERE WE GO ANOTHER FEMINIST TRYING TO DEVIATE FROM ISLAM WITH HER FEMINIST BELIEFS! IS FEMINISM YOUR RELIGION OR IS ISLAM?”
There’s no denying that these men have a serious case of internalised hyper-masculinity and misogyny. Just responding, writing back, commenting is enough to make them claw at their mobile phones and scream “THE FEMINISTS, THEY’RE FIGHTING BACK”
I am not going to justify myself through religion, especially by using if for personal gain and the satisfaction of feeling religious superiority. I am going to explain it as a human being without relying on distorted readings of religious scriptures and erratic hand gestures. I’m also not going to justify myself through feminism because I’m sure that the dawah posse has no idea what intersectionality even means and because me talking about this is inherently addressing my intersecting identities. (duh)
I don’t need to punctuate every sentence with “wallahi, wallahi” and butcher Arabic for me to be a convincing enough Muslim. I don’t need to claim my Muslim identity with every breath. I just have a shit load of things that I need to get off my chest, and these buffoons want to police women in every space that they exist in.
What is it with the obsession with hijabi YouTubers? Who told you to watch them? Who are they harming? What are you gaining from harassing and indirecting them like this is high school twitter?
“IT IS A BENEFICIAL REMINDER TO OUR SISTERS, WHAT THEY ARE DOING IS NOT BENEFICIAL FOR THE UMMAH!”
Bollocks. Tosh! May I take a minute t redirect you to google where you can amicably research the outstanding achievements of so many hijabi YouTubers such as Dina Torkia, Saima Chowdhury and Noor Tagouri.
And not just YouTubers, there are exceptionally accomplished Muslim women in every direction like Seja Majeed who is the author of one of the bestselling novels on Amazon.
But we always come back to square one!
And this policing business (seriously, do you guys get paid for this because you’re pretty consistent?) continues on almost every other social media platform.
All I need to do here is be a decent human being, and not have to demand to be treated like one.
Policing women is not helping 99% of people to practice Islam. Telling people that everything is haraam and blaming their struggles on a lack of emaan (faith)… Is not helping 99℅ of people to practice and learn about Islam. It is helping 1℅ to assert power and authority and force others to feel subordinate and less Muslim. There are even the situations where what you say will be distorted and skewed to uphold the image of them being right and us being wrong. The word ‘haraam’ has been reserved for female Muslims in almost the same fashion that the word ‘terrorism’ has been reserved for Islam by out-groups.
I have mentioned in previous articles how some people like to drive this monolithic image of what it means to be a Muslim woman and what it means to wear the female hijab. (Surely something that men cannot possibly have much to say about unless they’re an Islamic scholar and have useful information to useful information to offer women and SURELY something best left to women to discuss?)
That certainly is not the case. ALL THEY WANT TO TALK ABOUT IS WOMEN. And here’s the plot twist, they want to do and say these things without ever having to listen to what ACTUAL female Muslims have to say and the problems that ACTUAL female Muslims have.
From a personal perspective (thus meaning one that cannot be corrected or policed), I have found this online policing incredibly damaging. It has evoked senses of self-loathing for being a terrible Muslim and a deep resentment towards my daily struggles. Daily struggles that should matter, but apparently the most pressing concern is the centimetre of hair sticking out of my hijab and my ‘unislamic-ness’. How about the insecurity that had bred from daily islamophobia; or the moral conflict of whether it’s safe to continue wearing my hijab in a majority white town and with the current political climate; the lack of cooperation from majority white schools to deal with racism and xenophobia appropriately? How about the hijab ban and workplace discrimination? How about helping those in need?
This Muslim social media war has become tiresome and petty, and a Sufi saying provides a perfect summary of what the youtube dawah warriors truly represent.
“A Donkey with a load of holy books is still a Donkey.”