Friday, May 04, 2007

On Turkey, Desis in Canada

On Turkey:

Whenever I read about Turkey nowadays, and the problems they are having with electing a President, I keep reading about one thing.
The ruling party's candidate for President, Abdullah Gul, has a headscarf wearing wife.
What the f*** has this to do with anything? She wears a hijab, doesn't wear a hijab, how does this affect his Presidency? Why is a woman's cloth given so much importance?

You know, it's all well and good to fight for the right to be not forcible hijabified, which is what they are now claiming Turkey's women are afraid of. But what about those women in Turkey, in France, in Germany, who want to wear the hijab and cannot? Who speaks for their lack of freedom?

On Desis in Canada:

The Toronto Star recently launched a magazine exclusively for South Asians in Toronto, called Desi Life. One of the people interviewed for one story was this blogger, and that article is here.

Beware of these hijabis

Also, I always believed it is sunnah to know how to defend yourself in a fight. Hail the Ninjabis.


Anonymous said...

Hi there, You’ve got a great blog. Though I understand your concern and I believe that it’s a person’s private affair whether she wants to wear “Hijab” or not, and the state has no business about making laws on this issue but there is a legitimate concern among Turkish secularists that the party of Tayyib Ordogan has a hidden Islamist agenda. And politicians who want to involve religion into politics also like to implement the Sharia and Hudood laws in a State. They take a retrogressive stance which does more harm than good to a society and nation state.

Haleem said...

Haha... you don't mind spending 50 or 60 bucks a night? You know desis are always cheap, right?

The article is flawed in one way that the writer never seems to step out of Toronto, and seems to concentrate on 9-to-5 jobs. As soon as you enter the bureaucracy or have to deal with officials or those areas still untouched by immigrants you encounter what may not be racism... but different behaviour. The writer needs to visit outside the comfort zone of Toronto and realize there are many issues where immigrants still face hassles in good ol' Canada.

Safia said...


They always mention that she wears hijab because the secular elite in Turkey are terrified of any outward sign of religious practice in their leaders, anything that will threaten their secular state. They're so terrified of the loss of their freedoms, they cannot see the hypocrisy in the fact that women who choose to wear the hijab have less freedoms than those who do not.

And of course, the secular elite have the military to intervene in the democratic process when necessary, despite what the majority votes for...Some people in Turkey need to get a grip, they are absurd.

isheeta said...

congrats mezba! ure famous! :) wow, i cant believe ure ok to spend 60 bucks a night on events.... areu sure ure desi?!

ALSo, I have to agree Haleem (hi Haleem! :D) raises a very good point. I dont know a lot of torontonians who are desi AND who's got a full time job... so it may not necessarily be representative of the majority of desi population.

regardless... mezba's famous and thats all that matters!

Nowal said...

nice. isn't that exactly what I had mentioned? and i should know since I am amongst one of those handful of people that do NOT live in the GTA.

Athena said...

One of my very good friends is a Turk and she had to go back there from Canada :(. This would've been great except she's a hijabi and she can't live in Turkey because she refuses to take off her hijab and their laws won't allow her into government buildings, etc. How is forcing women to take off their hijabs any better than forcing people into burkhas?

mezba said...

Skeptic: As I understand the government of Turkey has been in charge for the last few years, and they have had majority government too - yet they did not implement their "Islamic" agenda.

Thanx for the comments about the blog.

Haleem and Nowal: I will pass on your comments to the writer of the article.

Safia: I think the socialite of Turkey are going to get a rude surprise in the upcoming elections - the rural people outside Ankara are highly religious and they back the current government to the hilt - especially as this government as done a good job so far.

It will be interesting to see the military's reaction - for sure.

Isheeta: you never fail to bring a smile to my face, o lady in red dress. Haha I am famous - within the confines of this blog however. I would think most desis would be sort of business owners/innovators.

Athena: So sad about your friend. You see, you will never read about her plight on BBC.

Farah said...

They are right. Just go north near Keswick to a McDonalds and you will get stared at. I feel the writer should also interview some desis who also live away from the GTA as a follow-up.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I have been reading about Turkey and the *next lady who wears a hijab*. My turkish friend has been telling me how a hijabi gets treated differently. Turkey has always attracted attn due to it's location(?).
As for desis, I guess it applies to all immigrants. All of them come with big dreams, super jobs they had back home only to realize a harsh reality waiting for them. Am in Toronto, and I remember my first interviews were kinda *judged* coz I was a non-white, a woman wearing a hijab *gasp*. But alhamdullilah, I never let that bring me down. There are still major hurdles we have to go through. Things won't change overtime and btw, changing our names to sound more *western* wouldn't help either,we still look *different*. sf

Suroor said...

I tend to agree with Skeptic. Turkey is no "ordinary" Muslim country. It is not an Islamic state; majority of the women don;t wear hijab; and alcohol consumption is not restricted unlike in other Muslim countries including the Gulf. In such a country, hijab wearing politicians and their relatives are a pretty odd issue.

Regarding the ninjabis ...

Suroor said...

Aaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, I know THE BLOGGER who was on Toronto Star!!!!!

Oh, I'm so famous because I know the famous blogger :D

Em said...

I've gotta repeat the $50-60 thing... wow.

Haleem hits the nail on the head. Flawed or not flawed, you're a celebrity. Congrats!

Oh, and I want meself one of them ninjabis :).

أبو سنان said...

These are the people who put Kamal Attaturk up as a figure almost to worship.

I wish these idiots would look at a few pictures of Attaturk and his wife. The father of the secular state of Turkey had a wife who wore hijab.

a Muslim said...

nice post, how do you come up with things to write every 3-4 days? banning hijab in turkey is so terrible. Funny how women are allowed to walk half naked.
ninjabis thingy is hilarious. why do women wear niqab though? it's not obligatory!

em:"Oh, and I want meself one of them ninjabis :)."

lol, what if I say I am a ninjabi? :)

youngmuslimah said...


hey nice article there in TO star. How long did you stay in the UAE?

The ninjabi article made me sad..:(
Why would anyone want to harm someone who's 'preserving' her beauty?

'liya said...

Mezba: You know I read that article but I never noticed your name and now I read this post of yours a few days ago AND the article again and still didn't notice until I began reading the comments here... how blind am I????

Congratulations on getting famous! & please pray that I regain my eyesight/brain - I can't believe I missed your name!! Really, I can't believe I missed it - I know your full name, I don't know any other Mezba's, in fact, I've never heard the name Mezba before yours - argh!! I feel stupid for missing it now!

youngmuslimah said...

lloks like my comment didnt get thru..yet again:(
do you really have to enable moderation?

youngmuslimah said...

a typo, looks*

Anonymous said...

(Out of topic)
The movie is Lord of war,nicolas cage. I think this was the movie. :) sf

'liya said...

Hey .. where is my comment? :S

mezba said...

Farah: I have had a couple of similar experiences north (and outside of) Toronto, but I would suspect its mostly curiousity, not racism or hostility. The only racist province in Canada (IMHO) is Quebec.

Sf: What they don't get is the lady in hijab can be just as qualified as the lady without, and I don't get why the Western media doesn't raise this point about Turkey.

As for jobs and hijab, I would agree it's much harder if you wear it in today's environment, but I also suspect it's changing fast. I see lot of women nowadays in many jobs sporting a hijab.

Suroor: I would disagree because the crowd you describe is only the Ankara crowd. Most of the rural would tend to go to the other extreme. Even small business owners are big time supporters of the Islamic government.

Suroor: You are famous regardless of who you know, dear.

Em: um, it was actually Isheeta who said it lol. As for ninjabis, hehe don't let them hear you say that.

Abu Sinan: Wow that I didn't know. Now I found out this.

Amuslim: thanx. I just write what I feel strongly about. Something keeps happening every 3-4 days!

mezba said...

youngmuslimah: the ninjabis are doing it to protect themselves - says something about the so-called tolerance of society they live in.

Liya: and you are the teacher! hehe

thanx and now you know my name! But remember names can be changed for the purposes of the article lol. I don't like how I am termed an 'in-between' though :-D

youngmuslimah: got your comment and lots of others now.

Sf: Yup!

Liya: here you are.

sonia said...

i haven't had a chance to post on this myself - will do asap - but thought you might want to post about it as well. tasneem khalil has been picked up by military police in dhaka

terrible news

mezba said...

Sonia, I agree. Tell us what can be done about it by ordinary bloggers and we can do something.