An Untold Love Story
By Yagmur Dursun
My name is Yagmur (it means "rain"). I was born in rural Turkey, in a vi= llage. Generally Turkish women enjoy many freedoms, which our Arab siste= rs can't even think of. Rural Turkey is a different story. Honour killin= gs take place every day, women don't have much say (if any) in household matters and female employment is out = of question. However, much hard work is done by women because men don't = want to strain themselves; women are like cattle or slaves. If husband t= ells you to do something, you have to obey.
My mother was a fairly-educated woman, she taught me at home and I even = went to school. My hobby was reading books; through them I learnt differ= ent languages and acquired a lot of knowledge.
I was a disciplined and obedient girl, unlike my sister who was somewhat= uppity. When she was 18, she fell in love with a young man. They both l= oved each other but he was meant for another girl, thus his parents had = decided. Dating is utterly forbidden in Islam, marriages are arranged and often young people meet on their wed= ding day.
My sister was rebellious. She "dated" that young man. Every night she wo= uld go to see him. They even kissed and actually their relationship went= too far. She got pregnant. At first they planned to run away to a big c= ity where they would be safe. They knew in villages, religion rules and they could be in trouble. In fact, aut= horities don't care what's going on in rural Turkey. Sometimes imams, mu= llahs and elders who try to practice Sharia and break the secular state = law are punished but usually authorities are more interested in big cities full of tourists and turn a blind e= ye to what happens in villages.
I remember their young faces. I didn't understand the whole situation; I= was a little girl. But when I looked at them I could see they were happ= y. Their happiness made me happy too and I wanted to smile.
Instead of eloping, they decided to speak to my father. Pregnancy is a v= ery good reason to get permission for marriage, or so they thought.
Alas, she had miscalculated my father's love for her and his obsession w= ith his "honour". He became furious. Instead of letting the two young lo= vers marry and build their nest of love, he took her to the religious el= ders and they ruled that she had committed adultery. She was sentenced to death by stoning. They showed no mer= cy even for her unborn child. She had stained the "honour" of the family= and the only way to remove that stain was to nip her budding life. Her = unborn baby was a stain too and that little creature had to be destroyed as well so my family could live honor= ably.
In the evening before her execution, she came to my room and told me tha= t she would miss me. She was crying and hugged me to her bosom. Then she= smiled and said that soon she would see her unborn baby; she didn't nee= d to wait until the birth day. I was blissfully unaware of her fate, but I felt that something bad was about t= o happen. I was so scared!
I still remember her eyes; they were blank; she stared at the sky while = she was dug into the ground. She was wrapped in white sheets and her han= ds were tide to her body. She was buried up to her waist. The rabid mob = circled her with stones in their hands and started throwing them at her while the roars of Allah-u-Akbar Allah= -u-Akbar added to their frenzy. She twitched with pain as the stones hi= t her tender body and smashed her head. Blood gushed out from her face, = cheeks, mouth, nose and eyes. All she could do was to bend to the left and to the right. Gradually the movemen= ts slowed down and finally she stopped moving. Her head fell on her ches= t. Her bloodied face remained serene. All the pain had gone. The hysteri= c mob relented and the chant of Allah-u'Akbar stopped. Someone approached and with a big boulder in his hand s= mashed the scull of my sister to finish her off. There was no need for t= hat; she was already dead. Her bright black eyes that beamed with life w= ere shut. Her jovial laughter that filled the house was silenced. Her heart that beat with such a heavenly lov= e for only a short time had stopped. Her unborn baby was not given a cha= nce to breathe one breath of air. He or she accompanied her young mother= in her solitary and cold tomb, or who know, may be to a better place where love reigns and pain and ignorance= are not known. These two budding lives had to be nipped so my father co= uld keep his honour.
A woman being prepared for stoning in Iran
She wanted to marry a man whom she loved. She dreamt wearing a white wed= ding dress, that there would be a big ceremony, lots of people would be = invited and they all would congratulate her, chant merry songs and throw= flowers and confetti at her. Yes there was a ceremony, but it was not her wedding. She was not united with th= e man whom she loved but was wed to death. She was dressed in white but = that was not her wedding gown. Lots of people came to the party but they= came to curse her and to throw stones at her. No music was played and no merry songs were sang; only screams = of Allah-u-Akbar filled the air. The only hug she got was from the cold = earth in which she was half buried. The only kisses that she received we= re from the rocks thrown at her that tore her flesh and broke her bones. They were the kisses of death.
This was a tragedy for my sister's young lover. His life lost its meanin= g. He got lashes but nothing more. He could well forget about the whole = affair and get along with his life, but he didn't. I recall seeing him s= tanding in front of our house every day, as if waiting for my sister to come out and meet him. I could see him= crying. One day he could no more bear his pains and hanged himself.
His death was hushed and no one talked about it. Maybe no one cared. He= was reunited with his love and his baby. No one can hurt them anymore. = No one can separate them from one another again.
It is a sad story. But unlike the story of Romeo and Juliet it is a stor= y that is never told. No one talks about those young lovers. No one shed= s tears for them. Not only they were buried, their memories were also bu= ried as if they never existed - their tender love was a shame to others - a shame that had to be washed with b= lood.
But the saddest part is that according to Islam my sister deserved that = death. The elders were sure she would be burning in Hell for eternity. N= o, I can't imagine that God can send someone to Hell for loving and for = being happy. I can't accept a cruel God.
When I turned 18, I was married off to a Turkish businessman from German= y. When I came to Germany I found out that he had another wife.
He is not a bad man at all. He is very kind, but he is a Muslim. He does= n't understand why Europeans don't like polygamy, for instance. He doesn= 't allow us to leave the home. He protects our honour in this strange wa= y.
Then we moved to the UK. Here we are even more isolated than in Germany = because there are fewer Turks. In Germany we at least could meet our fel= low expats.
As for my relationship with my husband's first wife, we are friends. The= re is some rivalry between us, that's for sure. But I am alone and can't= meet anyone or leave home. Her life is just a dull and empty as mine. W= e can't hate each other; we should be friends to overcome our troubles. My co-wife and I are like two cellmate= s. We only have each other. There is not much room for antagonism or har= d feelings.
I have 5 children, she has 4. She occupies a more privileged position wi= thin our family because she has a son. I have given birth only to daught= ers so far.
We are both educated, but she is so obsessed with kids that she has give= n herself up. I am still trying to grasp at non-existent straws; probabl= y one day I will be freed. I read books, keep myself informed and like t= o think. She is not remotely interested in reading books or thinking. I am alone.
Sometimes I think of running away, but I have 5 daughters. I can neither= leave them, nor run away with them. Actually, I am stuck.
Even though I left Islam a long time ago, I cannot stop praying or fasti= ng. My husband keeps a rod for the disobedient.
When I try to protest, my mouth is shut up with quotes from the Quran. I= slam defines our lives. Isn't it stupid that people live according to a = book written a long time ago?
I am not whining about my life but I do hate Islam. At least I could obj= ect to certain traditions but Islam preserved the worst in our culture, = reducing women into slavery and keeping them ignorant and, you know, wha= t can you expect from an unintelligent woman?
When I look at my daughters, I pray that they may live in a free world, = free from Islam and this slavery.
Ali, you promised to defeat Islam very soon, so please do it.
I know sometimes you must feel like giving up. It seems to me you've dev= oted yourself fully to the good cause of yours. You may feel at times th= at you will never succeed. I just want to say that you are fighting for = women like me. When you despair, think of me and millions of women with similar tragic experiences. Never give= up. You are my knight in shining armour. I just want you to know that = I am your keen supporter.
Please sent this story to your friends and publish it in your site.
Yagmur Dursun is a pen name. Some details of this story have been change= d to hide the identity of the author.