Movie star condemned for choosing not to wear head scarf

“Hijab is a choice”.

We hear this claim from Muslims whenever freethinkers and feminists question the coercion in Islam with regard to female attire.

Now read this.

Fans of popular Malay actress Uqasha Senrose have turned on her and accused the 23-year-old of “deriding” Islam after she decided to stop wearing a headscarf.

After donning the headscarf over the last three years, her decision to go without one has been met with fierce criticism, mostly from her male followers, who took to her Facebook page and accused her of being “undignified” and a “hypocrite.”

“You’ve lost your dignity as a Muslim, so you will also lose your fans because your fans are looking to go to heaven and not to hell,” fan Ahmad Faisal Ahmad Ziad posted.

“I really pity you. Why is your heart so black. Until you’re willing to play with religion,” another social media user Akil Mustafa Madu said.

Uqasha Senrose - from Instagram

Uqasha Senrose – from Instagram

There were some support for the actress though, obviously mostly from women.

While most of the comments were negative, Uqasha did receive support from some of her female fans who urged others to let the young actress make her own decision.

“Maybe this is for the best for Uqasha so be patient. There is no point to force people as it will be difficult if they’re not sincere. Let it be, it’s her life and her decision, we don’t need to mind other people’s decision,” user Diah Armanda said.

“The decision is in each individual’s hands, don’t question other people’s rights when even we are not so great! In fact, we should help them, not just point out their missteps or mistakes, we are no better,” a Facebook user who went by the moniker “Satu Arah” said.

Most of her Facebook fans express regret over the actress’ decision to remove her headscarf after she reportedly decided not to “pretend” anymore.

The actress who starred in the stage version of Ombak Rindu had told Malay daily Berita Harian that she first donned the tudung after experiencing a broken heart and that her decision to take it off now was solely between her and God.

I do not think those who claim “hijab is a choice” really believe in that claim. If they really believe in it, here is a chance for them to prove that they are sincere in saying it. They can visit the Facebook page of  Uqasha Senrose and announce that in Islam, hijab is a personal choice. That will be a great support for her.  If you are not up to it , better not to chant the hypocritical mantra “hijab is a choice”.

“Hijab is a choice” is like saying God belief is a choice in Islamic countries. Most Islamic societies will not tolerate an atheist or a woman not covering her head.


  1. Siobhan says

    They can visit the Facebook page of Uqasha Senrose and announce that in Islam, hijab is a personal choice.

    In Islam, or specifically Malay?

  2. says

    I do not think those who claim “hijab is a choice” really believe in that claim.

    I think they do, but I also think that they’re often forgetting the context in which they make that claim. I often hear it from women who come from backgrounds in which hijabs are not worn. The last one I read was an article by a British woman of SE background in whose community women at most wore a loose cloth and who was met with opposition in the family when she started to wear a full hijab. It seemed to escape her that this works the other way round as well: that girls and women are met with pressure when they choose to take it off.
    We’re also not always talking violence here (though many times we do). We all know the things we do because otherwise we’d rock the family/community boat and we don’t have spoons to deal with it and pick our battles*. So there sure are many muslim women who “choose” to wear a hijab so they are left in peace.

    Also, I don’t do “I choose my choice” feminism. If you freely choose to wear a hijab because you think that you must cover up lest men be tempted then you’re supporting some shitty discourse. But that’s a discussion to be had in specific situations, not with and about every single woman who wears a hijab.

    *I just had to make the choice between having my daughter participate in an explicitly christian “start of school” service or to single her out by making her miss the first time the class got together. You can claim this was my “choice” but I wouldn’t use that particular word.

Comments welcome

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.