When my dad saw us in the hijab, he said, “Now you look like decent human beings.”

Hi, I am one of the many women who wanted to fly, but her wings got broken.

My family is very religious and full of people who didn’t even read their holy book in a language that they can understand, all they believe is hearsays. They also imposed this religion on me. It is not the religion of God; it is the religion of people. It is the religion of people because God wants us to think. Still, my family wants me to obey every rule I heard about religion without questioning it. Because of that, I was also a bigoted religionist before I started questioning.

 With the oppression of my father, I became a hijabi in eighth grade. I still remember, my father was going to take my sister and me to the mosque in Ramadan ( the holy month of Islam). When he saw us in the hijab, he said, “Now you look like decent human beings.” I didn’t get it then, but now I am being crushed under the weight of that sentence. Just a piece of fabric turned me into a human in my father’s eyes, and I was happy without knowing why I was wearing that piece of cloth. How can a 14-year old make such a decision? Hijab, a 1400-year-old tradition, such a heavyweight on my shoulders at such a young age.

 Then, I became more and more fanatic. I started wearing ferace (a long, mostly black coat conservative women wear) and stopped talking to boys. I was going to a medical high school and studying to become a nurse. I even thought of dropping out because there were boys in my class. Luckily, I learned to question my religion and didn’t drop out. I read the book I believed in Turkish, and I was shocked.

 It didn’t say, “Stay away from men.” It said, “Men and women who are believers are each other’s companions.” It was a much more different religion than what my family taught me. The thing which led me to question was the Quran’s “Don’t blindly believe the religion of your ancestors.” call. When I told my father what I have learned, he said, “You’ve abandoned Islam, you are becoming a Satanist. If you continue like that, you are going to make others reject Islam as well.” as a form of psychological abuse.

 As my questioning continued, I realized that the hijab wasn’t an order but more of a recommendation for women to dress conservatively to avoid sexual harassment. In addition to that, nowhere in the Quran mentioned that non-hijabis were going to burn in hell. God couldn’t have forgotten to write that! 

 Thus, the hijab wasn’t compulsory. I was fooled. After that, I won the war within me and told my dad, “I am glad to dress conservative, but I don’t want to wear the hijab anymore.” He said, “You have lost your path, you would change your religion soon too. But I didn’t give up. I went to school wearing a beret first, then I completely took it off. Now, my father threatens to kick me out of the house and not letting me go to school. He says that I am a dishonorable whore. “A woman who doesn’t wear the hijab will do anything. You will rather walk around nude if we let you.” He doesn’t talk to me anymore.

  His abuse is so bad that I committed suicide twice. He doesn’t even talk to me, and I am battling anxiety disorder using antidepressants. I lost myself inside all of this chaos.

 We are the oppressed. Someday, my God will hold them responsible for their abuse. Resist. They will learn to accept us as we are. My dad says, “You will wear the hijab in my house, you can do whatever you want in your husband’s house.” I am a property in his eyes like all the women whose wings are broken…

 I hug you all. 

(Image: Nastya Rauba)

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