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STAND UP FOR HIJAB
OUR DUTY TO MERVE KAVAKCI:

by Sound Vision Staff Reporter

He said she was a “suicide bomber” and her party a “vampire” attacking secular democracy in her home country.

But Merve Kavakci hasn't killed anyone, let alone herself.

The 30-year-old computer scientist who was educated in Texas is a mother of two daughters.

She has memorized the Quran in 14 months.

Her father is an Imam and her mother used to be a university professor.

She wanted to be a doctor, but had to forget about attending medical school in her native country because she is not allowed to wear Hijab there.

She's no suicide bomber, but she definitely spells trouble for her native Turkey, according to her detractors.

It was one action that led to her being accused of trying to “blow up” the country's secular system: donning the Hijab.

Early this month, Kavakci, who is an Islamist Member of Parliament of Turkey's Virtue Party, arrived in parliament wearing Hijab.

The reaction from many of those present, particularly of the left-wing bent, in a country that is the former seat of a great Muslim civilization: boos and orders to get out.

It was the country's chief prosecutor, Vural Savas, who described Kavakci as a suicide bomber, claiming she wanted to “blow up the system” and compared the Virtue Party to a vampire that attacked secular democracy.

A case has now been opened to ban and expel all of Virtue's members from Parliament.

Savas is the same person who presided over the banning of the Islamist Welfare Party, which is considered the predecessor of the Virtue Party.

Sr. Merve has also been stripped of her Turkish citizenship. This has been justified by saying she hid the fact that she had American citizenship. By law, Turks are supposed to seek permission before taking the citizenship of another country.

THIS SICKENING ABUSE AFFECTS MANY IN TURKEY

This disgusting abuse of justice, in a Muslim country to boot, is sickening.

We must not forget that Sr. Merve is just one Muslim woman amongst those in Turkey who cannot attend medical school, for instance, let alone sit in Parliament because of this ban on Hijabs in many arenas of life in Turkey.

Many of these sisters have sacrificed education and careers to maintain their Islamic duty of wearing Hijab.

Sr. Merve and her family all left Turkey to come to the United States to enjoy the rights every Muslim must be guaranteed in a Muslim country: the right to practice Islam.

Her mother suffered rejection because of the Hijab in Turkey. She was fired from her teaching position at Ataturk University because of it.

Sr. Merve's father, Imam Yusuf Ziya Kavakci has also had to pay a price for supporting his daughter and Muslim women's rights to wear Hijab in Turkey.

He had to resign his deanship of Islamic studies at the university.
He is currently the director of the Dallas Central Mosque and the Islamic Association of North Texas.

WHAT WE CAN DO FOR OUR SISTERS IN TURKEY

It is related in Muslim that Abu Sa'id Khudri said that he heard the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) saying:  'Anybody amongst you notices something evil, should correct it with his own hands, and if he is unable to do so, he should prohibit the same with his tongue; if he is unable even to do this, he should at least consider it as bad in his heart; this is the lowest degree of faith.'

It's our turn to to correct this evil.

We may not be Turkish, or have any direct links to the country.

However, living in America, Canada and the U.K., we enjoy greater religious rights than in Turkey, and we have to now use these to correct this ill with our tongues.

And most importantly, to put it simply, this is our sister, and anyone who messes with our sister messes with us.

We propose that on June 9, Muslims in these three countries fax, e-mail and call (all three is the ideal) their respective Turkish embassies and consulates.

They should outline why they are upset and demand that Sr. Merve retain her Turkish citizenship, an end to the witch hunt against Islamists in the country, and most importantly, an immediate end to the discrimination against Hijab in Turkey.

We're giving the date June 9 because that is the scheduled date for a march in front of the Turkish embassy in Ottawa, Canada, which is being organized by some members of the Muslim community there. The group has already held a protest there on May 14.

WE'VE BEEN SITTING PRETTY FOR TOO LONG
With globalization, our world has become a “global village”. For Muslims, this means we can no longer try to shy away from the struggles of our brothers and sister in any part of the world.

We must begin using our power to correct abuses, especially in “Muslim” countries with our hearts, tongues and hands.


ADDRESSES OF TURKISH CONSULATES AND EMBASSIES

Please note: we have tried to provide as complete information as possible, however, some of the offices were closed when we called, so if you would like the missing information, call the embassy or consulate.

1. IN THE UNITED STATES

The Turkish Embassy in Washington D.C.
1714 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20036
Tel: (202) 659-8200
Fax: (202) 659-0744
E-mail: Turkish@erols.com
Name of ambassador: Baki Ilkin

The Turkish Consulate General-Los Angeles
4801 Wilshire blvd. Suite 310
Los Angeles, CA 90010
Tel: (323) 937-0118 or (323) 937-0119
Fax: (323) 932-0061
E-mail: turkcgla@pacbell.net

The Turkish Consulate General-New York
821 United Nations Plaza
5th floor
New York, NY 10017
Tel: (212) 949-0160

The Turkish Consulate General-Houston
1990 Post Oak blvd, Suite 1300
Houston, TX 77056-3813
Tel: (713) 622-5849
Fax: (713) 623 6639
E-mail: turcon@ix.netcom.com
Name of consul: Vakur Gokdenizler

The Turkish Consulate General-Chicago
360 N.Michigan Ave. Suite 1405
Chicago, Il 60601-3858
Tel: (312) 263-0644

.
2. IN CANADA

The Turkish embassy in Canada
197 Wurtenburg
Ottawa, Ontario
K1N 8L9
Tel: (613) 789-4044
Fax: (613) 789-3442
E-mail: Turkish@magma.ca
Name of ambassador: Erhan Ogut


3. IN THE UNITED KINGDOM

Turkish embassy in London
43 Belgrave Square
SW1X 8PA
Tel: 0171 3930202 Fax: 0171 3930066
Closest Tube Station : Hyde Park Corner
E-mail: lacg@ urkiye.net

Turkish Consulate in London
Rutland Lodge, Rutland Gardens
Knightsbridge
London SW7 1BW
Tel: 0171 589 0949

Egitim Musavirligi
Turkish Embassy
Turkish Educational Councellor's Office,
Tigris House, 256 Edgware rd
London W2 1DS
near to Edgware Underground Station(15-20 meter)
tel no: 0171 724 1511
fax no: 0171 724 9989

IN TURKEY

Prime Minister of the Turkish Republic
E-mail: bilgi@basbakanlik.gov.tr
Fax:+90 (312) 4191357, 2665153, 4170716
Tel:+90 (312) 4189565-67

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