A woman filmed “twerking” with a man whilst wearing a hijab in Birmingham has been forced to publicly apologise after the footage went viral and she was sent death threats.
In the video, the young woman, wearing an Islamic headscarf and loose fitting robes, is seen doing the provocative dance move alongside a man and woman who do not appear to be Muslim.
The footage was uploaded to YouTube, where it received more than a million views before being deleted. It has since been re-uploaded several times.
It has divided opinion, with some praising the woman for her dance moves and enjoying herself. Conservative minded Muslims, however, were largely shocked, claiming she had “disrespected” Islam and should be punished.
“She should be shot!!!!!!!!” wrote Aliya Hussian below the video. “Killing her oughta teach her!” said Yah-luna-tic on Reddit.
Yung Kadafi1 wrote: “Bro take this video down please this girls action gave our deen [creed] a bad name… Please bro hide the sins of your fellow Muslim the way you would want Allah to hide yours.”
The controversy attracted the attention of popular, hard-line, Muslim YouTuber Ali Dawah, who interviewed the dancing woman after being contacted by her family.
“I was out with my friends, we were going shopping and there were these people playing music, there was one song that a girl wanted to dance with me,” explained the girl, claiming she has mental health problems, has self-harmed, and often can’t “think straight”.
As the woman began to cry, Ali Dawah claimed her “very inappropriate dance with another man in public” was wrong and called on her to apologise.
“To all the girls that wear hijab and wear abaya [Islamic cloak] I’m sorry for disrespecting it,” she said. “I’ve learnt from my mistake… I’m just hurt, I just want everybody to leave it alone and keep everything away.
“I don’t want it to be how it was and I’m not gonna do anything like again and I’m sorry for disrespecting it and thank you to all of you that helped.”
Dawah concluded by blaming mental illness and music for her actions. “This is why music is haram [forbidden in Islam],” his co-host added.
Others, however, have defended the woman and her dancing. Maajid Nawaz, a former government advisor on radical Islam, wrote on Facebook: “‘Hijab is a choice’ they say. Then they proceed to slut-shame & terrorise a now petrified and begging-for-forgiveness hijabi in Birmingham UK, who only wanted to dance.”
He also slammed the fact the widespread outrage caused by a woman dancing was not replicated when Muslims committed violence and discrimination in the name of Islam.
“There was more frothing outrage by extremist Muslims at this (now terrified) hijabi twerking than they displayed toward hijabis joining [Islamic State]”, added Mr. Nawaz.
One commentator on YouTube wrote:
“If you understand how many Muslim societ[ies] work, they’re always more concerned with personal life choices other fellow Muslims make rather than the choices… Muslims make that directly impact other people, like discrimination against other sects (Ahmadi, Ismailia, Shia, or non-Muslims), suicide bombing[s] that kill innocent lives, corrupt Islamic leaders. Their priorities are all messed up.”