Somali Woman Beaten for Dancing Without Hijab on TikTok

A Somali woman went viral on social media for being brutally beaten by her brother after she uploaded a Tiktok where she was seen dancing without wearing her hijab. The TikTok story gained the attention of many netizens and received mixed reactions from social media users.

This viral social media story came after a Somali woman, who has the Tiktok account @hafsaqueendjibouti, uploaded a video on July 12th, dancing while wearing a sleeveless black dress without any head covering. The woman with 150,000 followers on the platform usually wears a hijab while posting videos of her dancing.



original sound - LB KUMAR

What happened after she uploaded the video of herself not wearing the hijab while dancing became one of the most talked about stories on the Internet. The TikTok of her without any head covering reached one million views, and she uploaded a video on July 13th where her face was seen badly disfigured, beaten, and bruised, with her eyes swollen because of the beating. It was unclear what the woman was saying since she spoke her native language.

The Somali woman then posted another video of herself where she was seen wearing a hijab, but her face was still badly bruised, black, and blue. A day after these two videos, she posted a video explaining that her brother beat her for not wearing a hijab when she uploaded the TikTok of her dancing on July 12th.


original sound -

While many netizens felt sorry for her, many content creators and other social media users made fun of her suffering. They even praised her brother for seemingly doing his job to protect her.

"May Allah reward him for protecting his sister's honor, but to be honest, I'm a bit shocked. She looks pretty damn old (I'm guessing 16-23?). He should have gotten her married off ages ago now he'll probably have to give her to his clan elder," a Twitter user said, with other social media users agreeing that her brother should be rewarded for his behavior.

Even though this viral TikTok story generated a lot of content, comments, Tweets, and attention online, mainstream media outlets failed to pick up the story, and many feminist and progressive activists were silent on the issue, possibly out of fear of being perceived as Islamophobic. The debate on Islam in the West continues to be a contentious issue, with many on the left side of the political spectrum seemingly defending Islam due to Muslims being a minority in many Western countries.

Another issue where the left was silent regarding Islam is the ongoing protests in Iran, which were sparked after 22-year-old Mahsa Amini died last September 2022 under the custody of the country’s morality police after she was arrested for not wearing her hijab properly. Her death sparked a new movement among Iranian women, which fought against the Islamic Republic under the banner “Women, Life, Freedom.”

Women in Somalia began wearing the hijab for the first time after the Somali Civil War broke out in 1991. Somali women usually wear the guntiino, a type of long cloth tied over the shoulder and draped around the waist, in day-to-day activities.

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