As A Muslim Who Takes Selfies, Let Me Tell You Why The Idea That Muslims Should Not to Take Selfies Is Insane

I can be proud of a selfie and still be “pure” — pure of mind and pure of soul.
Publish date:
January 30, 2015
muslim, selfies, gender, Discrimination, human rights

Truly, I have a love/hate relationship with selfies. The amount of time and effort it takes me to get one decent shot, it’s a good big to-do. The lighting has to make my complexion just so, the angle has to hide the double chin, and is my hijab askew? Ugh. The logistics are more complicated than planning a multi-ethnic wedding.

But when I do want a selfie, you bet your sweet ass I’m going for broke. I will commit to it like it was training for an Iron Man triathlon and I will get a sweet image that manages to capture my essence. Never mind the fact that I took 179 pics over a span of six and a half hours. The point is I got the selfie money shot. That moment in time that managed to capture one of my quirky facial expressions or a memory. And then I share that image with a headline or caption that makes someone guffaw — because an LOL will just not do!

If they don’t like it, they don’t like it. I’m not trolling for compliments. I can honestly say I couldn’t give one shit if someone like Felix Siauw thinks it’s a sin or begets “pride” or thinks I’m wanton because I post a picture like this:

Now, I’m going to give this dude some benefit of the doubt and say that maybe Felix Siauw doesn’t have a problem with selfies per se — but rather when selfies and social media collide? To that I say, it’s irrelevant. The point of your tweets were ignorant (at best) and inconsequential (at worst). The harm is done.

Where are your priorities? In your book Beyond the Inspiration, you ask us to reflect the “why” and not the “how” and “when.” Why then did you not heed your own advice? Did you not ask yourself why am I making this an issue before you tweeted?

Before you pondered the “purity” of women posing selfies, did you not ask yourself why society — the world over — places so much fucking emphasis on a woman’s physical attractiveness rather than the basis of her character? How about asking yourself why tweeting such obnoxious inferences on the motivation of others is necessary?

I take selfies because they are fun. Not because I’m hoarding my “pride” like a little squirrel for the winter. But let’s play devil’s advocate and say I was proud — gasp — of a selfie. So what? What’s wrong with that? I can be proud of what my selfie represents without being arrogant or looking down upon anyone else. I can be proud of a selfie and still be “pure” — pure of mind and pure of soul. Why is this ostentatious? If your issue is with pretentiousness, then maybe we can have a conversation. But the rest of this is just bullshit.

As a Muslim woman, I have the obligation to voice my dissent with other Muslims. One-liners aside, the point of my opinion is not to scoff at Mr. Siauw. My point is that perhaps, just maybe, this feedback as well as that of all the others will give him pause the next time he hits the tweet button.

“By the time through the ages! Surely mankind is in loss, except those who believe and do good deeds; exhort one another to the truth and exhort one another to patience.” Quran, Surat Al-Asr