I will throw my headscarf into wind like a student throwing her hat in a graduation ceremony.

I am the daughter of a man who had all sorts of debauchery back in his youth. He did then join a cult, when he was 30 years old, and became devoutly religious. He has been a man of very strict boundaries all of life. He remains a cult member, regularly attending meetings. My two brothers were both raised in compliance with his views and beliefs. One of them works in a Waqf (a charitable foundation under Islamic law), whilst the other studies theology. My mother has always been milder but typically influenced by the men of the household.

I was veiled, fait accompli, right after admission to a İmam Hatip School (Religious Vocational School), and then came the university period. I was staying at a house affiliated with the cult, and those were also the days when I started questioning everything. My parents have a conventional yet uncompromising religious life. None can ever convince my father as to heavenly ascension of an unveiled person. I went back home after the end of the school, where I had a relatively more comfortable and answers-seeking life. I was co-habiting with 3 other girls during school, and the more we clicked the more we started sharing our respective questions. It was striking to see that they had similar questions in mind. Why on earth do we have to cover ourselves inch by inch, when it’s 40 degrees outside, whilst the men can wander around in shirts and pants only.

I can’t speak on behalf of other girls, but I do believe that headscarves are imposed on women as tools of control in a male-dominated society.
As for the matter of faith… there’s no way that the Creator of all heavens and an infinite number of living things would bother with petty things like scarves on our heads, placing right foot first when going to the toilets or imposing the use of left hand when eating. Such absolute power could never be bothered by such absurdities. God would never imprison women behind veils on the pretext of satisfying men, and protecting them from sinning. There is a Creator, that I know well, but I do not know whether it is the One cited in Islam or a still unknown entity. In a nutshell, I can’t technically unveil myself in consideration of my current family environment and social surroundings.

I dream of having the opportunity to leave home, either by work or other reasons, and move to another city for starting anew. The moment I take my luggage out, start drifting away I shall take out and toss it away as if I were in a graduation ceremony. Wish me luck and pray for me, whichever way you believe…

(Image: Sydney Long)


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