Dina Torkia’s YouTube channel is normally filled with the kind of videos you’d expect to see from a blogger; beauty tutorials, fashion look books, silly challenges. But her latest video is a far cry from her usual light content. The 29-year-old has posted a 47-minute non-stop stream of the hatred she has received from her followers - and it’s difficult to watch.
Dina is a British Muslim who started blogging 10 years ago. She gained a huge following thanks to her tips on modest fashion and hijab styling, but the mum-of-two has decided to stop wearing her hijab full-time, and it’s this which has sparked the torrent of abuse.
After telling her Instagram followers that she had made the personal decision to wear it “when she wanted to”, she was inundated with enough hate to fill the best part of an hour in one continuous stream.
In the video entitled ‘The Bad, the Worse and the Ugly’, Dina reads comments such as “I hope you and your family all die painfully and slowly, absolute disgrace” and “Slowly you will be a porn star”.
There are also dozens of comments targeting her appearance without the hijab and claiming she is no longer Muslim.
The video has received more than 635,000 views and sparked an outpouring of support for her and her family. One viewer said: “This is actually painful to watch, I wanted to dive in to the screen and give her a big hug” while another added “the intolerance is real.”
Here is a small selection of some of the hundreds of comments she reads out:
You are sick personal mentally 0.48
I hope u and ur family die painfully and slowly. Absolute disgrace. 1.13
Candy cane she is Satan in disguise. 8.08
Ugh can’t stand you anymore. Such a disappointment is what you’ve become. 10.45
You’re a disgusting hunk of a person. You filthy traitor. Your platforms are finished. Go and advertise your traitor self to some western feminist scum. You and little sid really deserve eachother. Both scum. 12.19
Selling yourself for 800k subs. Pathetic. 13.23
Get lost you dirty immoral indecency haram promoting garbage, you and your dirty husband. Get lost. 17.46
What a self hating woman she is slowly leaving Islam but she doesn’t know it and why is she trying to be white? LOL 22.13
Get out of feed you hypocrite. You look ugly without the hijab! 32.02
Hell is waiting…..you illuminati puppet. 37.06
This woman is a devil. 39.42
You look like a witch without hijab, omg so ugly ugly. 40.52
Don’t you have any shame. 44.26
You should put your scarf back on. Your hair is very thin and dead. Nothing to show. 44.47
For just under a decade, Dina built a brand by posting videos such as 'How to wear a stylish turban hijab tutorial' or '5 ways to wear your abaya'. Here's a snapshot of her first batch of YouTube videos:
However, in November she posted an Instagram story saying that the hijabi community, of which she herself is such a key player, is starting to become a "very toxic cult":
She explained her thoughts further via a tweet, saying her comment was in reference to the online hate she gets: "To address my 'hijabi community starting to become like a toxic cult' comment. I'm referring to the onslaught of slander and insults I've received from a community that I was very much a part of and helped build... all because of my personal decision to basically wear it when I want to."
“I also find it odd that people are ostracising me for criticising a community that I'm a part of... I'm allowed to do that.
"Let's get one thing straight, I still believe in my headcovering as part of my modesty and as a part of my life and it will always be part of me.... NO ONE can take that away from me. I have just decided that the best thing for me personally is not to commit to it daily like I have done for the past 20 years. That is all.
"I've heard people assume I've used the headscarf for 'fame and money'," she went on to write. "I started blogging when I was already wearing a scarf. I just wanted to enjoy fashion I could relate to... I'm a whole different person to who I was when I started. People change, and that's a great thing... it's called progression."
Born to an Egyptian father and British mother, Torkia and her twin sister were born in Cairo and lived there until her family moved to London when she was 6.
She spoke to The National in September, and told us then that her attitude to wearing the hijab was altering. She said she was becoming less judgemental in her attitude towards Muslim women who dress less modestly than her, and has become increasingly experimental, sometimes wearing a turban instead of a headscarf tied under her chin, and letting a strand of dyed hair slip free. Her dark hair is currently coloured blonde, before that it was coloured grey, and previously it was pink. "I dye my hair all the time. I love crazy colours."