Tag Archives: misconceptions

…what happens in-between…

we are born alone to die alone
the self is either warmed up in-between
or under a lonesome cold

only the corpses get stiff i thought
not so when emotional touch is no more

© hülya n. yılmaz, 11.8.2016


[Own photograph; at Light on the Lake Bed and Breakfast, North East, PA]

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Abuse of religion and political power

with thanks to wikipedia.org







thanks to wikipedia.org







As I am writing these lines, someone in a far away land has for long seated himself on a throne-like device from which downward he is ruling over his people.  He had been able to win some of them for their lifetime support of any and all regulations as well as laws he would so desire to sketch out from his make-believe world.  For, those followers seem to have found in him a true believer and a practitioner of a religion they believe to know at its core themselves.  One of that religion’s teachings, they all claim to this day, regards the female appearance: for her to cover herself from head to toe, to be truthful to their public decrees.  Seeing that not all of his land’s women obey God’s law, he supposes, and therefore appoints himself to be the ultimate word.  He, thus, sorts – according to every woman’s appearance: the covered are good without condition; others, evil.  As for men, he resorts to the same way of elimination: those who are with the covered women are good unconditionally; others, evil.

It is suspected that the ruler of mention above has never bothered to check what the book of God he claims to be a dedicated follower of says about the same matter he violates his people’s rights for.  That – through the pure imagination of his mind – he has been dictating his wife and daughters to be all covered except for their faces.  A reader of the Holy Book this self-deceiving ruler claims to know inside and out, who also misleads too many in his land of govern on account of his immense arrogance about it, speaks below to correct the ongoing deception of massive proportions:



Many Muslim scholars have invented extreme rules for women’s dress [that] are not found in the Quran. Some say that women should be totally covered except for her face, while others who are even more extreme, say that all women must be covered from head to toe except for two holes for the eyes to see!

1- There are no words anywhere in the Quran [that] command women to cover all their bodies. Those who preach such un-Quranic rules cannot find words in the Quran to justify this extremity, so they manipulate various words in 24:31 and 33:59 to justify the falsehood.

2- The fact that God says in 24:31 to specifically cover the bosom indicates clearly there are other parts of the woman’s body that do not have to be covered.  To elaborate on the indication of the words in 24:31, let us ponder on the following example:

Think of your house and in it you have a garden. You have a gardener who comes to look after your garden. One day you tell the gardener: please water the area under the big tree and also water the back of the garden.

What does this example tell us?
It tells us that since you specified only areas to be watered, then this is a clear indication that there will be other areas in the garden that are not to be watered. If you wanted the gardener to water the whole garden you would have asked: please water the whole garden.

When we apply this example to the issue of women’s dress code in the Quran, the same principle applies. If God wanted the whole body of the woman to be covered, God would not have bothered saying “cover your chest” since an overall command to cover all the body would be all that is needed to say. But since God specifies certain parts of the woman’s body to be covered, then there are other parts that do not have to be covered, as long as they are not beauty spots of sexual connotation and as long as righteousness in dress is maintained.

3- The command to “lengthen the garment” also proves that women are not commanded to be covered from head to toe. For if that were the case, and women had to be covered down to their toes, there would be no meaning to “lengthen the garment”. How can a woman lengthen a garment that is already down to the ground?


Previous posts of relevance:

Unrest in Turkey and the Prime Minister’s Appeal to Allah to End it

Massacre in Turkey and Father’s Day

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“Orientals!” – Autobiographical Fiction, Part 1

Almost up to the time short before my mother’s death, our home in Doluca was often open to family gatherings of loving and caring exchanges, flavored with strong laughter and thorough enjoyment of delicious food and of each other’s company – young and old.  Even today, multiple decades later, I can almost taste the honey suspended in mid-air dripping over me – as if only over me but also embracing all those dear ones.  We were a large enough crowd then.  My mother’s side of the family alone.  My grandfather, step grandmother, great uncle, great aunt, both uncles, both aunts, my parents and my brother.  The members of the “prominent crowd.”  On special holidays, my grandfather’s sisters and their families from Istanbul would also join us.

Being the shy child, my brother would hardly ever get a chance to say much and therefore lose his chance for attention at almost all the gatherings.  I, on the other hand, was the singer, the dancer, the public speaker, the impersonator, and many other things for after meal times.  That is, until a certain age when my upper body began to change and showed it too.  For that entire awkward period, I wished and wished and wished some more for no one to notice me.  But, of course, attention was on me.  As the newest “girl” in the family.  Besides, my attention-hungry singing voice, my quite capable dancing feet, my eager speeches (or dramatic poem recitations) and impersonations of a large variety of celebrities were all missed.

“Sit up straight,” my grandfather started saying one day right at the onset of one of his visits with his wife, that is, after noticing me taking my chest inward as much as physically possible, in my attempt to turn my breasts invisible.  He then made a knuckle with one hand and pressed it against my upper back, mumbling something like “back straight.” His way of saying, I assume today, how proud (straight-backed) I was supposed to be as a female.  That sweet man is long dead.  I never had the courage to ask him what he wanted me to do about my body.  And then, we all started suffering from his dementia.  His younger brother was far more silent about this “issue.” I too often felt I, or better yet, my body’s changing shape, was being sign-languaged behind my back – held straight or not.  My father was neither vocal nor symbolic about it.  Nor had he come up with a similar tactic as my grandpa to help me feel confident.  I don’t recall my mother’s initial take on this issue.  All I remember is how “modest” she wanted me to appear in any situation when it came to my physical traits and what I did with them, including slanting my legs together to one side when seated, if in a skirt.  My younger uncle acted just like my mother.  Somewhat tight-lipped and stern-faced.  My older uncle, on the other hand, was quite relaxed and vocal about my – their girl’s – growing up reality.  As for my brother, he was too young to participate in any silent or vocal reactions yet.

My family’s men and their take on my noticeable femininity – as far back as I have known them in close settings, told me at my matured age what I had not realized back then: namely, how different they all were from one another in their comfort levels when facing female distinctions in their household, or extended household.  They were all born and raised in the same country and had been exposed to the same cultural traditions and practices – differing in nuances alone.  So, shouldn’t they all have had the very same view on everything that mattered the male and the female gender?   My German aunt – the older uncle’s wife, thought so.  I believe I was ten when I heard her for the first time use a term, since then her by far most favorite phrase when referring to Turkish men: “Orientals!”  Several ages later, I began to live what that reference entailed when my only brother was concerned – without yet realizing how severe my resentment was going to be at myself at a late stage in my life for having felt obligated to cater to that mindset.



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