Today I was watching a video on The Young Turks youtube channel, one of my favorite places to get my news (the anchors are hilarious). I watched a segment on some events going on in Turkey, and I made the grave mistake of looking at the comments.
Just for a little background if you don’t already know: Turkey is a majority Muslim country with a secular approach to government. It has been as such since WWI when the Ottoman Empire was ousted and Ataturk, “father of the Turks”, took fledgling Turkey in a more westwardly direction, culturally.
Anyway, in the comments I witnessed some viewers commenting on the current governing party in Turkey. I couldn’t tell if these folks were Turkish, living in Turkey, or whatnot, but their handles/usernames were not Turkish sounding. I digress. The comments were expressing a grave concern about Turkey being made more religious/islamized/ whatever wonky word you would like to use, because of the religious agenda of the president/PM. Now, I only know a bit about the current president/PM, and politics being what they are, I don’t feel comfortable giving my own opinion on the governing group because I just don’t know enough.
Personally, I believe that religion belongs in the home/community, and not in the government. I don’t think anyone has any business telling me to abide by their moral code, and the same applies to me.
Everyone can have their own opinion on the Turkish government, and that’s ok, but what REALLY infuriated me was commentary on a recent law that was passed (early 2014 I believe). Previously, it was illegal to wear hijab at public universities and federal buildings. Now, thanks to the current governing party, it is not illegal. I know, this seems crazy considering Turkey is a secular country with soooo many Muslim citizens (around 98%), but it’s the truth. No, not all Muslimahs cover their hair, but when I was in Turkey I saw plenty. That is a lot of women to bar from higher education and involvement in federal affairs (be it as support staff or political careers). This brings us to the comments from the unfortunately narrow-minded peanut gallery.
According to them, Turkey was being made more Islamic, and religion is being forced on the citizens because covered women are allowed to enter these locations.
I CAN’T EVEN
How can anyone draw the conclusion that giving freedom of religion equates supporting, nay, pushing any religion on the populace. How ignorant can you be?! So if you aren’t oppressing the people, you are glorifying them? What happened to neutrality? Non-discrimination?
My heart rate just sky-rocketed and my brows are furrowed as I assault my keyboard.
If you want the right to live your life the way you want to, and be given every opportunity to succeed in it, you should do the same for me and others. I honestly cannot understand people who think it is right to shove their way of life in the face of others, and expect the receiver of this behavior to be happier for it. Just stop. Stop it now. You will see me be the first to stand up for the rights of others who don’t live by my rules, do the same for me.