When I lived in the US as a hijabi (roughly a year), I didn’t go through any particularly difficult trials due to my scarf. Sure, people would give me weird looks (that I never noticed), and maybe thought something strange…but it never truly impacted my interaction with other people. Honestly, I expected a bit of trouble- but nothing bad happened. Allah sukur.
Maybe I’m particularly lucky/blessed, or my white privilege over-rode the hijab. Either way, I breathed a huge sigh of relief when we started packing our bags to move to a predominantly Muslim country. Surely my outward display of faith won’t cause problems there.
Ha. Ha. Ha.
As I described previously, Turkish people are not actually people- but walking, talking, political opinions (something I particularly loathe about Turkey). While I was constantly surrounded by people of many different opinions and backgrounds, I never felt that their ideologies should impact how we treat each other. For instance, I have no problem being friends and hanging out with atheists, Muslims, Christians, Buddhists, even wiccans/witches (as one of my friends calls it- a game of friend bingo). As long as we have respect for each other and don’t cross boundaries- it’s all good here. I don’t expect everyone else to abide by the rules I guide my own life by.
But oh no, not in Turkey.
This became painfully obvious as we prepared for a rather political trip. We would potentially be visiting with politicians/gov’t officials, and therefore we made special preparations. Nice clothes, a splash of perfume, everything actually matched…
And then, Anne suggested I wear my headscarf differently, in a less obvious/more Turkish-culture turban style. At first I thought I misunderstood, my Turkish only being mediocre. I asked hubby what it is she said…and he felt that the statement needed no translation, because it was silly.
Oh, so I heard right.
While I know she was saying this from a place of love, it still made my blood boil. Who are these people, these people who think they can judge me based on how I wrap my scarf around my neck. What do they think they know about me because I chose to cover? It almost makes me laugh. But only almost. Many people think that the current government is particularly religious, making things easier for religious conservatives and harder for liberals. Most of this chatter comes from the latter.
As a moderate conservative (religiously, but don’t assume you know my politics), let me tell you…that’s not true. Particularly when it comes to the gov’t, it’s hard for everyone. Turkey is going through a lot of growing pains, and everyone has to struggle through it.
But I have a suggestion.
Instead of drawing a line in the sand, lets all just be people. Lets do our own things, in our own houses, and stop sticking our nose in everyone else’s business. Because we aren’t politics. We are people.
Meh, fat chance.