Sunday, 19 October 2008

Youthful Voice Stirs Challenge to Secular Turks


By SABRINA TAVERNISE
Published: October 13, 2008

ISTANBUL — High school hurt for Havva Yilmaz. She tried out several selves. She ran away. Nothing felt right.

“There was no sincerity,” she said. “It was shallow.”

So at 16, she did something none of her friends had done: She put on an Islamic head scarf.

In most Muslim countries, that would be a nonevent. In Turkey, it was a rebellion. Turkey has built its modern identity on secularism. Women on billboards do not wear scarves. The scarves are banned in schools and universities. So Ms. Yilmaz dropped out of school. Her parents were angry. Her classmates stopped calling her.

Like many young people at a time of religious revival across the Muslim world, Ms. Yilmaz, now 21, is more observant than her parents. Her mother wears a scarf, but cannot read the Koran in Arabic. They do not pray five times a day. The habits were typical for their generation — Turks who moved from the countryside during industrialization.

“Before I decided to cover, I knew who I was not,” Ms. Yilmaz said, sitting in a leafy Ottoman-era courtyard. “After I covered, I finally knew who I was.”

Read the rest here.

10 comments:

Me :p said...

Its so sad, I can't understand how gov'ts like Turkey can't see that they are oppressing part of their own population I don't understand how countries like turkey can claim that if they allow people to practice Islam freely they will turn into another Iran, when countries like the US, and Canada, and Europe etc. allow us to practice freely and its been successful.

GWater said...

Asalaam alaikum,
A friend sent me the nytimes video clip on this sister and her pursuit for equal educational rights for hijabis. It's quite nice.

http://video.nytimes.com/video/playlist/world/1194811622205/index.html?r=597#1194824264490

Huda said...

Turkey is what intolerance is in the name of secularism. They don't realize they are no better than Saudi Arabia or Iran who force hijab on women. Hijab is an obligation and a calling between a Muslim woman and Allah, no state aught to interfere and force it either way.

Anonymous said...

ok if u click on the link to read the rest of the article...the front page of it has a hijabi bride with her legs showing! just thought it was funny.

hiba :-P

Sarah said...

May Allah bless these women to overcome their struggles. Its sad that she had to drop out of school. Denying women education because they wear hijab is a violation of international human rights, and sadly, it seems like thats what Turkey is doing.

Nur said...

very funny (and sad in a way) photo on the actual article. but profound article nonetheless, worth a read :)

Anonymous said...

SELAM ALL,I READ ALL OF YOUR RESPONSE BUT WHAT DID YOU LERN FROM IT AND WHAT IS TO DO IN OUR COUNTRY'S? sHOULD WE IGNORE SISTERS WHO WEAR SCARVES ON THEIR HEADS BUT TIGHT JEANS,SMOKING IN PUBLIC WITH THEIR HIJABS ON,TO NAME JUST FEW EXAMPLES...I STOPED CARING TO BE HONEST WE ALL OF YOU...ON THE END OF THE DAY ITS BETWEEN THEM AND ALLAH,BUT WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO US WHO WANT TO WEAR MODEST CHLOTHING ON WORK PLACE,UNI,ETC...ARE WE ARE GOING TO BE TOLD SAME "NO HIJABS ALLOWED?SELAM

Anonymous said...

I like how she said, 'After I covered, I finally knew who I was.'

Anonymous said...

Are you seriously telling me that in turkey they dont let you wear a hijaab????WOW!

Anonymous said...

Wow... I thought we can freely wear hijab in Turkey, I mean I bought some Turkish hijab (like Armine etc.) and whenever I go for Hajj or umrah, many people there coming from Turkey. I'm lucky I live in Indonesia (the country with biggest Muslim community) where we are free to wear hijab everywhere. Even, the trend now is increasing. Alhamdulillah :)

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