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Merih 30 Dec 2009

BEING DIFFERENT - PART 2

Hi everyone,

 

The last time I was talking about the criticism about being a mum of 3 and a stay at home mum.  This week I would like to go into a bit of religion.

 

Like I said, I grew up in a family where being a Turk mattered more than anything.  Both of my grandfathers were very high rank officers in the army, my uncle and brother military doctors. We were Muslim, but I got no proper education about our religion, except at school, never been sent to learn to read Qur´an in Arabic, never seen anyone in my family practice Islam.   Of course until my grandfather passed away (more than 18 years now) we kept on celebrating the Eids, going to relatives houses,  collecting our Eid money, and slaughtering the Kurban in the name of Allah.  But this was all about my religious exposure.

 

I started reading books in my early teens, mainly from leftist intellectuals, and I was ready to lay my life in this purpose.  Then, of course, capitalism got into my blood, when I cared about nothing but...  At the uni., I had serious arguments with believers to prove how vain their beliefs were. 

 

Then came a time, when I started understading.  I can´t deny my husband´s input, as he brought a totally different aspect of Islam into my life.  It was not what I grew up fearing of, and it was not forced.  It was not a cheap marketing tool.  It was cleverly engineered, talking to my heart, helping me to be a better person.  And I loved it.

 

At this point, I want to correct anyone, if you are thinking that I am an extremist, praying 5 times a day (but I would love to), wearing a hijab (may be one day, but not now), I am not.  Nor my husband.  But I do believe in Islam, and I also believe in being tolerant to other religions, and the practice of religions, as longs it does not threaten me or force me.

 

I should also add that, I still hate Islam to be used politically, when the women (specially in Turkey) wear hijab, but act totally against Islam, they don´t even pray.  Or the men drink alcohol for 11 months of the year, but suddenly become religious in Ramadan. This, I think has caused the main resistance against Islam in Turkey, but there are people who care, who pray and who believe.   So they end up paying for it.

 

Anyway, we got married (we did both of the nikah, the legal one and the religious one). After some time, we were discussing whether we should stay in Turkey or not.  This was one of the things that influenced our decision.  My husband, a moderate Muslim men, tried to attend the Friday prayers (only!!).  But he knew he had to hide this from his friends, as this has become a very sensitive thing in Turkey.  You either belong to one group or the other.  If you go to prayers, you will be outcasted by modern Turks (!!!), if you don´t, you feel you are missing something important in your life.

 

During our discussions, he told me that, he didn´t want his daugthers to be embarrased by their father because he is going to Friday prayers.  It was likely to be the case if we stayed, as we belonged to a social circle where there was no tolerance for this.  We wanted to give our kids an opportunity to believe in what they wanted to.  So we decided to move on.

 

Cheers

 




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