For the sake of something I do not believe, I have to restrict myself and sacrifice my freedom.

I grew up in a conservative, well-known family. A kindergarten that raises religious, Qur’an courses that go every summer from primary school 1, weekly evening conversations in secondary school… I grew up with a classical conservative child raising method. I always knew I was going to veil. Despite having a period in the 6th grade, my family did not insist that I veil immediately. They weren’t messing with my clothes when I wasn’t veiled, but they knew I would veil one day.

Although I didn’t want to, I went to an excellent İmam Hatip1 School. The school I wanted was utterly opposite to religious school. Still, they sent me to the religious one, saying, “I will get out of the way,” “I will not veil,” and “I am a girl.” They were right, I wouldn’t veil, but I wouldn’t be that far away from religion.

I tried to adapt to the school in the first year, but it was not an environment that I was used to. Although my family’s environment is conservative, I have never been in such a restrictive environment. I was always very attentive to my state and actions, my clothes at school with the lameness of being not veiled in the first year. In my second year, I was relieved when I was veiled, and my friendship atmosphere was formed. The religious school has done a lot of harm to me psychologically. I have always been judged, always people were wrong about me. At first, I was like sliding into religion. I could even be radical, but I couldn’t. It wasn’t in my fitra2. As I saw the veiled women or Muslims around me, I got more away. But I can’t reflect it to my family, and this hypocrisy wears me down. For the sake of something I do not believe, I have to restrict myself and sacrifice my freedom.

But my family will never accept me taking off the headscarf, and I am financially dependent on them. When I gain my economic independence, I will have to give up on them completely. I want this on the one hand, but why can’t they just love me for being me? Just because I am their daughter.

Why should I be ashamed of my hair, my body, my sexuality, and hide them? The idea of ​​protection from men sounds very primitive and patriarchal.

I hope one day, I can gather my courage and explain myself to my family.

  • Imam Hatip schools are educational institutes in Turkey where people are trained for religious professions such as imams besides the formal education. 
  • Fıtra is an Islamic term to refer to one’s nature and natural abilities.   

(Image: Guim Tió)

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