My Humble Congratulations To You

Dear Abdullah Gul,

Many secularist of your own countrymen have been going after you like a hawk after its pry. Throughout, you stayed humble and dignified. Your intentions were always for the betterment of your country, and never what your hate-mongering fellow countrymen were accusing of you. Because you are devout and practice your religion to the best of your ability, these misguided people tried to misconstrue your way of life. They even went as far as insulting your wife, may God bless her, of “threatening the Turkish way of life,” because she chose to obey her creator and wear the hijab. I wondered, how do these so-called “secularists” intended to explain that a democratic nation gives its people the freedom to express and practice their religion if they banned a Muslim women from wearing the hijab? How did they intend to explain that a Muslim woman in Manhattan wore the niqab and nobody bothered or even questioned about her way of life yet these exact Muslim women were banned from wearing the hijab in a country where more than 95% of the population are in fact Muslims? How do these misguided people intended to convince the EU that their ban on freedom of speech (see insulting “Turkishness” and religion is in fact contrary to the requirement of EU membership of freedom of speech, religion, and expression? I digress.

Now you have the responsibility, along with your PM and Parliament to re-introduce the laws that allows all people in Turkey, regardless of their religious affiliation, to practice their religion and express themselves without fear of reprisals. May God bless you and your fellow countrymen who are fighting to give everyone the right to practice their religion and speech everywhere in the formerly glorious empire of the Ottoman.

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