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A woman is facing backlash on Twitter after partaking in a meme in which users share a photo of themselves at the beginning of the decade and then another one at the end.
Twitter user @SynSuzy shared a photo of herself wearing a hijab at the beginning of the decade and then another at the end of the decade. In the second photo, she was noticeably missing a hijab.
“Start of the decade vs end of the decade,” she wrote in the caption of the tweet, which was posted on Friday.
Start of the decade vs end of the decade✨ pic.twitter.com/U32dunLP87— Important Babe (@SynSuzy) December 6, 2019
Over time, the hijab has come to mean different things to the women who wear it: While removing it is a symbol of resistance for some in Iran, others fight for their right to wear it elsewhere. Still, many believe the decision to wear or not wear a hijab should be up to each individual woman.
For SynSuzy, whose Instagram account says she is a Latvian-Lebanese 22-year-old, she wanted to share a personal choice she made to take off the hijab.
Nevertheless, many Twitter users are upset by that choice.
“Question! Why is everyone happy about this???” Twitter user @salma_abuzaid_ questioned. “I mean, why do ppl make it look like we’re doing this for other people and not god? And why are the ones supporting this Muslims..this is actually very sad and disappointing…”
Question! Why is everyone happy about this???— loading... (@salma_abuzaid_) December 6, 2019
I mean, why do ppl make it look like we’re doing this for other people and not god?
And why are the ones supporting this Muslims..this is actually very sad and disappointing...
Another wrote that she “definitely looks better in the first pic.”
Where is the courage? Anybody can take off his cloths,wearing hot shorts ,crop tops ,ect.. but not everybody can keep wearing hijab.— Ghada Mahmoud (@Ghadaamahmoudd) December 7, 2019
Nothing to be proud of.. being available for all is so bad for a girl 👌hijab is nice— Anas🇵🇸 (@_anas_maher_) December 7, 2019
Nothing to be proud off 🙄— Zahraa Matar (@ZahraaMA92) December 6, 2019
While she did receive a lot of criticism, SynSuzy also received an outpouring of support.
“If she has right to wear one she also has the right to remove it,” Twitter user @kennyfrombeqaa wrote.
if she has right to wear one she also has the right to remove it.✊🏻❤️— kenny (@kennyfrombeqaa) December 6, 2019
SynSuzy wrote in a follow-up tweet that she is no longer Muslim.
Not muslim anymore*— Important Babe (@SynSuzy) December 6, 2019
“Hey I’m Muslim, and I have also questioned my religion, but after searching for answers, I have found them and choose to be Muslim. If you choose not to be that is also okay. To Muslims reading this, stop harassing this woman, you’re nobody to judge,” Twitter user @Beardtimusprim1 wrote.
Hey I’m Muslim, and I have also questioned my religion, but after searching for answers, I have found them and choose to be Muslim. If you choose not to be that is also okay. To Muslims reading this, stop harassing this woman, you’re nobody to judge.— Beardtimusprime9000 (@Beardtimusprim1) December 7, 2019
A strong and courageous woman ❤️ our love to “Allah” isn’t determined by hijab or any kind of religious clothing , it’s determined by our act and way of thinking ❤️ btw u look beautiful in both pic— elissazd (@elissazd3) December 6, 2019
Some time by forcing some thing on, it creates more hate and frustration. I have Iranian friends who stopped practicing religion the day they landed on UK soil as it was forced on them. Its against human nature.— Bilal Mir (@BilalMi99680979) December 6, 2019
SynSuzy did not respond to the Daily Dot’s request for an interview, but on Monday, she defended her decision on Twitter.
“There are 7 billion people in the world, so whoever you are, the majority of the world holds a different nationality, beliefs, values, life, etc. and attacking every person different than you is a tiresome and pretty pointless way of doing things,” she wrote in a tweet thread.
Everyone is entitled to their own beliefs, way of life, their own religion or lack of, and everyone has the right to express that. Your rights stop when you start to try to control others’ and force them to behave how you see fit or harm them in any manner. Let’s be civil thanks— Important Babe (@SynSuzy) December 9, 2019
Samira Sadeque is a New York-based journalist reporting on immigration, sexual violence, and mental health, and will sometimes write about memes and dinosaurs too. Her work also appears in Reuters, NPR, and NBC among other publications. She graduated from Columbia Journalism School, and her work has been nominated for SAJA awards. Follow: @Samideque