Thursday, May 31, 2007

modernity is necessary - even for islamists

mehmet y. yılmaz of hürriyet commented wednesday on an interview with abdullah gül, who said it is possible to make "türban"(*) even "more modern". he added, had he been elected president, his wife, too, would adopt a different style of covering her head. "wives have their responsibilities as well, and hayrunisa hanım is well aware of that," gül noted. yılmaz wrote in response, gül's statement implied that even he found his wife's current headgear unacceptable for the first lady of the country. he then refuted the idea that persons can change their "individual or familial concepts of life" according to the post(s) they occupy. "what is not modern is not that piece of cloth," yılmaz iterated. "it is the idea behind the cloth. the mentality that makes women's equal presence in society contingent on certain dress codes".

although i can not think of challenging anyone for wearing it(**), to me, türban is at best an admission by women themselves that their social status is secondary, albeit, by so called divine decree. furthermore, it is a sad and unfortunate ratification that woman is man's pleasure toy; a plaything that can charm and seduce just by showing a whiff of hair.

covering up makes woman socially recognizable namely by the sexual favors her gender implies. conversely, covering up is the only way she can avoid being just that. a woman covers up because she believes she then stops being a sexual entity, except for the husband/male who practically owns her. concealment denies any "illicit" man, driven only by sex in the hermeneutics of his life, a chance to conceive of her as an instrument to be enjoyed. a türban signifies that a woman willingly submits to an oppressive dress code because she aggrees to the hermeneutics that she is by nature and god's will, afflicted with the curse of representing a sexual being, or a being only defineable by her sexuality!

in iran or saudia, such acquiescence may be coerced out of women. in turkey, in a much worse manner, it is quite often voluntary. "türban politics", especially by men but by women, too, is an admission that the particular individual concerned with open vistas of the feminine is guided more by what lies between the legs than what lies between the ears. therefore, (s)he is dangerous for the mental health of the public in general.

i feel closer to the school of opinion that claims the türban and similar religious dress codes (***) will gradually fade away if not fade out, as modernization progresses. therefore, i believe gül's statement that "türban can be made more modern" does in fact, reveal a new concern among the religious "circles" that "modernity is necessary".

that signals a long distance covered since the days necmettin erbakan, the leader of the "national view" movement and tayyib bey's padre et padrone(****), regarded all mores and ideas blown this way by westerly winds as the root and praxis of evil.

(*) the turkish version of a turban, the hindu headdress which somewhat and somehow politically motivated muslim women wear to cover their hair in a supposedly more modern fashion than with a plain scarf
(**) someone, regardless of gender, who forces a woman to wear a headdress, though, is another matter. that person is an autocrat, a martinet who imposes on the will of someone else and is no better than any other fascist.
(***) furthermore, i am of the conviction that what is called "political islam" will evanesce in a few decades, just like the political pull of communism is the soviet times.
(****) and his friends and comrades currently in the refah (welfare) party

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