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20 August 2010 @ 12:44 pm
Young Muslim Worries About Coming Here to Pursue His Dream  
Interesting response to the Cracked article 3 Reasons the "Ground Zero Mosque" Debate Makes No Sense

Hello there infidel Americans! I bring word from the land of curved swords, all white fashions, camel toes and drug induced promises of numerous virgin women to frack for an eternity.
The reason of this post is neither to justify/legitimatise terror or to feel righteous. I'm writing this because I feel disappointed. I'm a muslim in Turkey, which is by all unoffical means, an islamic country. Since Mustafa Kemal founded Republic of Turkey from the ashes of Ottoman Empire in 1923, abolished Caliphate and brought secularism; we, as the republican(which is the Turkish equivilant of American Liberal) youth, looked up to the Western Civilization, especially USA.When Obama was elected to office, I admired the open-mindness of American people in a time when Europeans were busy banning minarets.

I live in Istanbul. It is not very different from the American cities. We drive cars, live in multistory buildings, dress in suits with ties or wear skirts, consume lots of alcohol (seriously), watch sports games. There are a lot of churches and synagogues around here too! In fact I visited St. Anthony church in Istiklal Avenue (which is the cultural center of the whole country) with my friends just 2 days ago.

I can't go to friday preachings frequently because friday is not holiday here. Sunday is. But I've listened enough preachings to comment.
I have never been promised any number of women, virgin or exprienced. Actually sexual intercourse is very "sacred" in Islam, you don't say something like that in a Mosque, no matter the intent. And it is more like "Don't do this or you'll go to hell!" and less like "Do this or you'll go to hell!"

I remember the 9/11. I was 12 back then. I remember the newspapers having nothing but 9/11 news on them. I remember my mother crying and my grandmother praying for the dead. But most clearly of all, I remember the feeling in my stomach when I heard it was connected with Islam. I have never associated my religion with any kind of killing until that day. My religion teacher was always embarassed while teaching us the battles Hz. Muhammed fought. Of course I had the best education my country has to offer. But still...

Turkey has a very strong military (and 72 million population). It has to be, we live on one of the most geopolitically important patches of soil on Earth. I'm sure you know that we are in very bad terms with Israel right now and our elected government is unfortunately borderline Islamic extremists. Our president thinks he is the fracking Padishah and wants to turn Turkey to another Iran. He is literally following the footsteps of Khomeini. If the Republic dissolves and the middle eastern minded extremists win, it will turn the middle east conflict into a real war. And I will have to fight in that conflict because I am at the age of conscription. I don't have a choice in this matter like you do.

Anyway, I what I'm trying to say is that those terrorists are not muslims. Islam doesn't teach killing. Islam is a religion, not a suicide cult. But everything can be weaponised by humans. Even religions. You Americans are always selling yourselves to the world as open-minded people. I want to believe but it is not what you say that counts, right? So understand that those maniacs are herded by political figures using twisting interpretations of religion as weapon.

Oh and a personal point before finishing: I have a sociology degree but I want to design video games. There is no chance of doing it here, so I was thinking about going to USA. I'm not touchy about my religion but I have limits. So I'm honestly asking you: Should I come there? Will I be welcomed or abused? I wasn't worried about religious abuse in this matter but these events scares the hell outta me. (I want a serious answer, please don't use sarcasm, I don't get it :)

I would like to say--our maniacs are also herded by political figures...anyway, I told him by all means, come on over, we're not all bigots and that the internet brings out the worst in people so please don't judge by that.

I'm sorry it's gotten to the point where young people are afraid to come here to pursue their dreams. It's our loss.
Equinoxstephanieb on August 20th, 2010 09:01 pm (UTC)
Totally agree with your last point. This is what always drives me nuts about prejudice--it's such a waste. Prejudice deprives us all by preventing people from using their gifts and talents.

Good for him for eloquently spelling out the obvious to the hard-of-thinking: there's no one group of people that corners the market on evil, and most people in any group are just people trying to do the best they can by themselves and their loved ones. Most Muslims aren't suicide bombers; most evangelical Christians don't picket funerals or blow up women's clinics; most Mormons don't practice blood atonement, etc.

As to the mosque controversy, I'm a flaming atheist who lost a relative in the Twin Towers and I have no problem with a mosque near the site (it's not even that near, in terms of city geography. Cities by definition cram an awful lot of stuff into a relatively small space. Everything is near to everything else. Pretty much any kind of house of worship, business, or institution you could think of could probably be found within the radius around the Twin Towers site that contains the proposed community center/mosque.)