“Are you practicing Islam?” That was my flat mate question in our first dinner several days ago. “Yes, I am.” Well, I think this obviously something strange in this “Moslem Majority” country, as we also know as a secular one, Turkey. Despite the fact that they are, citizens, Moslem but in practices they don’t. Okay, I am covered by hijab, I do prayers 5 times a day (I don’t mean to show off, pardon), and I do many things Moslem should do. Yet, I never judge another religion believers are bad or even Moslem who doesn’t practice.
This is beyond my expectation that when I arrived here I will get a lot of accesses to do my practice without hesitate. In fact? Please, don’t ask! I love Islam, Islam encourages us to live in peace even with non-Moslem ones. Like what it’s been said in Al-Kaafirun (the Disbelievers) last ayah “laakum deenakum wa liya deen” in translation it is meaning “for you is your religion, for me is my religion” sort of. Saying about something that has been judged for covered girl in this country, it has became a special case that in this mostly Moslem citizens country, that practicing Islam is really a thing.
In return, well I can say that I live with an agnostic and atheist in a shared flat and yes, I can live with it. I am not a radical Moslem girl that couldn’t accept that everyone is different yet I am quite surprise that most of people stare at me like I am a something disgusting. Sorry for that word, I mean, I am yes confused about this secularism theme of every corners in this country. Separation between those two main ‘ideas’ of daily routine: practices and works (or school, like what I am doing) is definitely my first experience. To be frank, I was mistaken by my wishful thinking of beautifulness of this Istanbul. Every thought has a consequence. Well, I couldn’t be more ready tho.
Forgive me if I am wrong, what I already understand with this secularism is separation between the religion and politic. Every public policy is made apart from particular religion ‘law’. So, what I call equality for everyone to decide doing practice or not is more often become a right. Nobody can interrupt it even government itself. If a government or a society being discriminative with ‘religious’ –I define a religious one is someone who does practice-, let say that this is a far away case of secularism which only gives a freedom for non-religious people. Leave aside the religion is, it can be Islam, Christian, Buddhist, Hindu, and many others. Why Moslem girls become get more discriminative? It is so simple because in everyday life, we are covered (which this is a very obvious look that we are Moslem) and 5 times prayer is something very obligatory and yes obvious also, that sometime I have to ask permission to do that if I am around friends or in class.
This writing doesn’t judge anyone or anything. Also, I am not a saint one, that don’t do some sins tho. I do. I am not wearing long loose skirt or baggy jeans. I wear skinny jeans and close-fitting shirt around. This could be something different with what Islam commands me to do. Most of the things that I should do, in fact I didn’t do. Perhaps people say that I am half-full Moslem, but I am trying to be a full one. I do practices, I do sins. I behave well, I behave bad. I am a human being same as ordinary people.