The Internet, Fashion, Pop Culture

When will self-righteous Muslim Instagram commenters stop piling hate on DinaTokio?

The negativity Dina Torkia has received following her decision to show her hair is very disappointing and uncalled for.

Arrogance is frowned down upon in Islam. Yet, it is not unpopular for the modern Muslim community to pass judgments while assuming a holier-than-thou status.

Dina Torkia, one of our previous 40 Women to Watch, is an Internet icon who I have admired for many years now.

In the fashion world, she has been hailed as a modest fashion influencer and she has even come out with her own clothing line recently. I especially adore Dina for the outspokenness and advocacy in making women’s voices heard, specifically in making Muslim women’s voices heard in the fields of fashion and women’s empowerment. 

When Dina’s career as a social media influencer first started in 2010, she was wearing the headscarf, which is common attire for Muslim women. As a Muslim woman myself, I personally do not wear the headscarf, nor do I observe full hijab unless I am doing the five daily prayers. I have full respect for women who do choose to wear the headscarf or to observe full hijab for having the courage to choose to dress the way they want regardless of what the close-minded part of society says.

Receiving criticism and judgment for being herself, an independent and confident woman is something Dina wasn’t new to. Commendably, she hasn’t let hate stop her from succeeding.

Recently, Dina Torkia decided to stop covering her hair. In the past, she had multiple ways to wrap her hair and head, whether it was turban style or in a style that covered her neck. She had always received judgment from fellow Muslims, both women and men criticizing her for not being modest enough in her dress and behavior, given that she is a confident, outspoken woman, which apparently makes some close-minded and sexist people uncomfortable.

I was shocked and disgusted to see the negative reactions such as criticizing Instagram comments toward Dina for showing her hair. On Dina’s YouTube channel, people even went so far as claiming that she was no longer Muslim. On top of that, many accused her of utilizing hijab for the purpose of attaining fame, following up with the accusation that she started showing her hair once she had the fame in her hands. 

It was very disheartening to watch one of Dina’s latest videos, where she spent more than 45 minutes reading through hate comments she has received from people who are so lowly as to spend their free time and energy insulting and judging her instead of focusing on themselves and trying to better their own character. 

In Islam, you are not supposed to display arrogance. There’s even the quote that “even a mustard seed of arrogance will prevent you from entering Heaven.”

Yet too many Muslims have been sending Dina negative messages, with a number of them even going so far as to threaten her family and to curse her.

All this hate and attacks around her own personal decision – a decision that has absolutely nothing to do with those attacking her.

As a Muslim woman, and just as a person in general, I condemn those of the Muslim community who uphold and exercise such arrogance and work toward bringing a fellow Muslim – a fellow human – down. Not only is it wrong for Muslims to insult and hurt someone of their own faith, but it is beyond abhorrent for anyone at all to be treated as cruelly and disrespectfully as Dina has been treated.

Blatant hypocrisy is apparent through fellow Muslims who attack and insult Dina’s character and wish ill upon her and her family. These kinds of people carry the air that they are better Muslims than she is by claiming the authority of shaming and hurting Dina. What they totally disregard is Dina’s characteristics that make her a good person and a good role model.

There is nothing wrong with disagreeing respectfully with one’s decisions, but it is wrong to force your opinion on others, especially in ways which demean and degrade them.

Despite the negative responses, there has also been a lot of support toward Dina both from within and outside of the Muslim community against the haters. It restores my faith in humanity to see people being there for each other. And in this case specifically, to see both Muslims and non-Muslims be there for a fellow human, for a fellow sister.

Muslim or not, the people who support and respect someone else, whether or not they agree with her decision, are far higher with their humility and kindness and in overall character than the arrogant haters will ever be.