Religion is—and should be—a personal choice. Imposing your religion on others is not OK.
But others should respect your autonomy when it comes to your own religious beliefs.
So what happens when friends won’t respect your religion?
A woman faced with this issue turned to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for feedback on her solution.
Redditor AITA-Hijabi asked:
“AITA for backing out of being a bridesmaid for my friend rather than take off my hijab, even after the other bridesmaids bought modest dresses to accommodate me?”
The Original Poster (OP) explained:
“We have been friends for 5 years, and in the whole time she’s known me I’ve never taken my hijab off around men from outside my family.”
“I have taken it off in front of her before, but only because I was only around women, and she knew this was the case.”
“When we were trying on bridesmaid dresses, I offered to wear a different dress to the other bridesmaids or wear a covering over the dress so they didn’t all have to conform to my needs regarding the modesty of the dress.”
“We settled on all wearing a dress that I could wear, as the bride wanted us to match. I was happy that they accommodated me, and none of them seemed to mind wearing a more modest dress than they might have worn otherwise.”
“Yesterday I asked the bride if she wanted me to wear a scarf that matched the dress or of a different colour. She was startled and told me she was expecting me not to wear a hijab, because when she said she wanted us all to match she thought I understood she meant not just the dresses, but that I would not be wearing a hijab.”
“She also said that she thought I would be ok with it since I took my hijab off while trying on dresses, which I only did because I was only around women and I was trying on some dresses that go over the head so I felt the hijab would have fallen off anyway.”
“I said that if I could not wear a hijab as a bridesmaid, I would not be able to be a bridesmaid. My friend is now frustrated as some of the other bridesmaids have made alterations to the dresses and cannot return them, and she would have wanted them to wear a different dress if it were not for my modesty needs.”
“She’s also annoyed that I have backed out as now there is an uneven number of bridesmaids and groomsmen.”
“She says she tried her best to make a compromise with me, the modest dress but no hijab, and I should have explicitly said I would need to wear my hijab and not taken it off while trying on dresses. I think she should have explicitly asked if I would go without before committing to a compromise I didn’t even know about.”
Redditors weighed in by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Redditors decided the OP was not the a**hole.
“NTA. If she knows you well enough for you to be a bridesmaid in her wedding, she should know when you need to wear a hijab.”
“Your culture is not a compromise.” ~ ahhhtoomuchpressure
“A wedding is a big audience, as well. As inappropriate as it would be to ask OP to take off her hijab in a smaller setting with men there, I feel like it’s even worse to ask her to do in front of an entire crowd.” ~ evilhagfish
“And highly photographed… shared on social, blown up photos in your home… it’s not like it’s an image that won’t live on.” ~ jmsilverman
“NTA. She should just let you wear a hijab, I don’t see what the big deal is.”
“That would solve all her problems right now.” ~ ShadyBookDealer
“This is sooo [the bride’s] problem. Of her own making.” ~ l3rambi
“100%. If it’s really so disruptive for you to leave the bridal party at this point, she should be willing to compromise on this.”
“Although I wouldn’t blame you for staying out of the wedding even if she changed her mind and decided to ‘let’ you wear a hijab.” ~ ChocolateyCereal
“Sounds like she’s being a bridezilla. It is sometimes forgotten in our culture that weddings are about the love between two people, and celebrating that with their friends and family.”
“NOT some crazy, self-absorbed fashion show performance for the bride to nitpick every detail to the point that the aesthetics are more important than the people.”
“Sorry your friend has fallen into this trap. NTA.” ~ artichoke313
“Don’t feel guilty because your friend thinks her wedding esthetic is more important than your cultural and religious observance.” ~ Seeker131313
“You are 100% NTA. She is being completely unreasonable.”
“Especially if people who know you are there. You would pull massive attention by being out of your hijab.”
“If I saw a hijabi friend sans hijab in public, it would be a huge part of what I remember from the day.”
“Unless she has some massive Islamaphobic guests attending and she doesn’t want them to know you are Muslim… 🤔” ~ DoctorWhich
“It honestly may simply be an optics thing, and trust me I’m not defending her but I see an awful lot of posts about bridezillas micromanaging their wedding party.”
“They want them to lose weight and change their hair color. Without any sense of how completely unreasonable, offensive, and insensitive to do something like asking a muslim woman to take off her hijab because it doesn’t match.”
“I don’t know your friend from Adam, but sometimes even otherwise reasonable people can get sucked into the bridezilla thing.” ~ Hysterymystery
The OP returned with an update.
“I messaged the other bridesmaids explaining that I can’t be a bridesmaid anymore as the bride doesn’t want me wearing a hijab, and the responses are coming in very much anti-bride so far.”
“I’m hoping the others disagreeing with her on this will snap her out of it.”
“It seems like she’s overall stressed and focusing in on this one thing too much and hopefully if she stops to think about it she’ll register that it’s not a big deal if I’m wearing a hijab.”
Hopefully the bride reconsidered her demand.
If not, her uneven number of bridesmaids will be her own fault.