The death of Mahsa Zhina Amini sent thousands all over the world into battle: on the streets of Iran, in sessions of Parliament, and across social media feeds. But they’re not all fighting the same war.

Twenty-two-year-old Mahsa Amini died on September 16 under suspicious circumstances after being arrested by Iran’s “morality police” for wearing her hijab too loosely. Her passing created an eruption of voices in protest of the regime and its repression of women and hundreds of women on social media are burning hijabs to express their support.

Their captions echo the words of the women shown in video footage leading the protests in Tehran. “Zan, Zendegi, Azadi,” they chant. “Women, Life, Freedom.”

But at least one Muslim woman does not appreciate the desecration of a sacred religious symbol in the name of uplifting Iranian women.

“Burning the hijab might be resistance in Iran, but, make no mistake,” Zoya Rehman, a Gender Studies researcher at the University College London, warns me, “it’s fascism anywhere else.”

“The fight [in Iran] is against state repression, not items of clothing,” she says.

Yet, perhaps unsurprisingly, given the circumstances of Amini’s death, media coverage of the situation in Iran focuses heavily on the symbolism of the hijab and the oppression it entails. One picture circulating shows young girls in school with long hair flowing down their backs, holding up their removed hijabs in one hand, and a middle finger to a picture of Ali Khamenei, leader of Iran, in the other. Along with the picture, the hashtag #FreeFromHijab is trending on Twitter.

Not everyone approves of this messaging.

“The focus is shifted away from the regime’s multifaceted apparatuses of control over women, and towards a narrow focus on the veil, leaving no room for a deeper engagement with the intersecting forms of oppression faced by people in Iran,” writes Law Lecturer Nora Jaber for the Middle East Eye.

The strategy, however, is not a new one. Jaber adds that she is “all too aware of how Muslim women’s modes of resistance are regularly co-opted in a reductive manner to strengthen interventionist Islamophobic agendas, rather than offer any meaningful support.”

Ines El-Shikh, a feminist activist in Switzerland and co-founder of the Muslim feminist group Purple Headscarves, explains to me why this is so dangerous.

“This [co-optation] is empowering a Eurocentric paradigm of feminism that is being adopted by far-right nationalists all over the world,” she says.

And perhaps more worryingly, El-Shikh adds that nationalists aren’t the only ones claiming Muslim women’s veils are symbols of oppression. “There are many women in feminist organizations saying they cannot condone women wearing burqas because burqas are anti-feminist in essence.”

But the message that women shouldn’t wear headscarves is as threatening to women’s agency as forcing them to wear headscarves is.

“You imply that these women need to be freed from themselves,” says El-Shikh. “If she cannot decide correctly what to wear, how will she decide correctly how to vote and lead her life in general?”

Ayeda Hamed, student of Middle Eastern Politics at Princeton University, agrees that this kind of advocacy is counterproductive.

“It misses the actual point about allowing women to do what they want. Empowering these women means creating the space for them to freely live however they want to,” she says to me.

Not to mention, the hijab is not what the Iranian women are fighting against anyway. Somayyeh, a retired teacher in Iran, told Reuters that, “[Amini’s] death simply broke the camel’s back. This is the result of years of repression of Iranian women. We are tired of discriminatory laws, of being seen as second-class citizens. Now, we want political change.”

The law of the land in Iran is Islamic sharia law which forces the hijab on women as one of its many repressive, discriminatory policies. The others include marriage of underage girls, inability of women to divorce their husbands, no custody of children in the event of a divorce, fewer employment opportunities, and restriction of free movement without the approval of an assigned guardian – the list is long, and the women are weary.

Evidently, the death of Mahsa Amini inspired them to finally stand up to the regime.

The Iranian women taking to the streets to fight for their freedom are thus fighting against the collective repression of the sharia law and seeking an autonomy over their lives that they have not enjoyed since the start of the Islamic Revolution in 1979.

Without understanding that, the women burning hijabs on social media are consciously or unconsciously waging a different war.

“Don’t use what’s happening in Iran as fodder for your Islamophobic bigotry,” Rehman says, criticizing the response of the West to the protests in Tehran.

After all, the real war in Iran has only just begun, and they’re going to need all hands on the same deck.