Do I want to take off the hijab to be accepted by a certain circle?

Hi. I just discovered this platform and I really liked it. First, I’d like to talk about why I wore the hijab and my current state of belief. I went to Imam Hatip (religious school) in middle school with my own will. My friends were genuinely nice people. I did not wear the hijab until 8th grade and my family never forced me to wear one. I was a successful student.

We are 4 sisters and we have a little brother. I have 2 older sisters and 2 younger sisters; that means I am the middle child of the family. Only me and the younger one of my older sisters wear hijab. I am telling these to show that my family has no psychological or physical pressure on this issue.

I started to wear the hijab when I was in the 8th grade. This situation was caused by the environment of Imam Hatip rather than my family. Also, I was a truly religious person at that time. Later on, I realized that I wasn’t wearing the hijab because I was a religious person, but I was heavily affected by the environment which I live in. I went to an Anatolian High School (high schools which give secular education in Turkey.) As I said, my family did not have any compulsion like “You have to go to Imam Hatip High School. “They didn’t even want me to go to Imam Hatip, they wanted me to get a better education. I got enough points to get into the best high school in the city. Anyway, I did not write a single Imam Hatip high school in my preference list. When I started high school, I wasn’t sure of my political views and I was also believing that the students should not have political views. But as I said, my middle school environment had a great influence on me. If you’ve been in places where a certain ideology exists, you must have understood me. Especially if you have a fear of exclusion like I have.

I have been wearing the hijab since the 8th grade. My older sister who wears hijab told me “You are too young.” when I started wearing the hijab, but, unfortunately, now I am realizing what she was trying to tell me at that time. After I started high school, I realized that I had a really bigoted education in middle school. I have very different friends; my perspective is wide now. I believe in the theory of evolution and some of this theory has been accepted in Islam.

I’m a junior high school student now. I wear the hijab but I do not fulfill any religious obligations other than fasting. More precisely, I do not pray and read the Quran. These are the things that I stopped doing after I started high school; I wasn’t doing it properly even in middle school anyway. I don’t know if I should take off my hijab or not. I am a person with libertarian ideas. I am not against LGBTQ community. I am a Kemalist (who shares the same ideology as the founder of Turkish Republic, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk). I’m not sure how my family would react if I stop wearing the hijab, but I don’t think they will be angry or shouting at me. After all, they know this is my opinion, decision, and life. I am not sure if I should take off the hijab or not when I go to college. Actually, the thing that bothers me is what are the reasons for me to wear or take off the hijab? Do I want to take off the hijab to be accepted by a certain circle? Is it because I’m not religious? Or is it because I know that the hijab, I wear does not affect my belief? I am not sure.

I jumped from topic to topic, so sorry. How can I be sure what I am looking for and what I want? I even put the hijab aside, I’m not even sure about my religious beliefs. I do not want to be excluded from certain circles; The circles I’m talking about are not places like nightclubs, but academic circles with enlightened people. A well-educated individual would not interfere with anyone’s personal choice; I know, but will I be confident and proudly wear the hijab? I am not sure about that.

(Image: Milt Kobayashi)

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