'Too American': Teen Berated by Fundamentalist Father

What would you do if you saw a young girl threatened for the way she dressed?

ByABC News
November 4, 2010, 11:09 AM

Nov. 5, 2010— -- A strict father and a rebellious teenage daughter. It's a dynamic that's existed since the beginning of time, and usually just a harmless rite of passage. But what if the family conflict is taken to an extreme, and the stakes are much higher?

What would you do if you saw a young girl berated, even threatened, by her strict fundamentalist father for the way she dressed?

To find out, "What Would You Do?" set-up hidden cameras at the American Dream Diner in Orangetown, N.Y., and hired four actors to play a Muslim-American family. We dressed the father, mother and older daughter in conservative Muslim clothing, contrasting them with the typical American teenage garb of Mira, the younger and more rebellious daughter who was running late to meet her family.

Our Muslim family immediately caught the attention of the diner's patrons. Mira arrived a few minutes later, dressed in jean shorts and a pink tank-top, listening to music while texting friends on her cell phone. She was greeted with hostility from her father, who was visibly annoyed by her tardiness and her outfit, asking, "Mira, what are you wearing?"

"Everyone dresses like this at school," she replied.

"You can't be wearing that, it's really not acceptable. Every time you leave the house, you represent this family," he said. "I find it embarrassing. I'm asking you, as your father, not to wear clothes like that."

Mira remained defiant: "Why did we come to America if we can't wear what we want? ... I want to be a normal teenager, I want to wear what I want to wear."

But before she could finish speaking, he interrupted: "You look like a whore!"

The exchange immediately caught the attention of Cynthia and Christie Candrilli, a mother and daughter, eating breakfast at an adjacent table. As they watched in stunned silence, the situation escalated.

Click here to watch the latest episode of "What Would You Do?"