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