On 14th January, 2008, Prime Minister Erdogan answered rather queries of European journalists in Spain regarding the issue of banning of Khimar in Turkey which evoked strong reactions and continues to evoke emotions. He said: “Is it a crime that the Khimar is a political symbol?! Is it possible to ban symbols and emblems?!.... It is a tragedy that we face such difficulties in our country. We have this problem in the universities and I think we will overcome the problem by this amendment. We will overcome this problem of curtailing liberties, liberties of education”. During the press conference arranged at the airport on Erdogan’s return from Spain on 16th January, 2008, he stressed: “If Turkey is still unable to solve this issue, then that will be a real hindrance of liberties. We can together overcome this, and it need not await a new constitution. Its solution is really simple-we sit together and agree on the issue, and it will be solved”. These statements have evoked fierce debate in Turkey’s public opinion and the National Movement Party has prepared a draft amendment to Article 10 of the constitution and has claimed that this will provide solution to the problem. Certain state institutions including Supreme Administrative Court and the Supreme Court of Cassation issued sharp statements vociferously warning collapse of the existing system. The Republican People’s Party, CHP (Cumhuriyet Halk Partisi) linked the Khimar issue with the system’s survival and launched severe criticism of the government headed by Erdogan who on one hand rejected his rivals’ criticisms and on the other hand began preparing constitutional reforms to Articles 10, 13 and 42. Talks between the Nationalist Movement Party, MHP (Milliyetçi Hareket Partisi) and the Justice & Development Party, AKP (Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi) began on January 24th on the issue and they reached an agreement in principle.
The response of Hizb ut-Tahrir wilayah Turkey on the issue is as follows:
- By whatever names they refer the Khimar or its variations, Mandil (head kerchief), Cover, wrap, or Hijab, Allah (swt) has obligated Muslim women to wear these and the purpose is that they cover their heads as part of His orders and restrain from display of their charms. Education and vocational careers etc. are not Shara’ee exceptions to do away from this obligation. A Muslim lady is not permitted to lift her Khimar and exposing her head either fully or partially either for educational or career purposes or even under family pressures or for the sake of tradition or culture etc. who ever indulges in it, has in fact fallen into open prohibition. Under the Shara’ee rules, the commands concerning the ‘Ibadat, Makoolat (food) and Malboosat (dress) are not be linked to ‘Illah (Logical reasoning); but for this rule, the Khimar could be linked to such sayings that claim that there is no harm if a Muslim woman wears any head-cover or wears no head-cover at all, even if it contradicts with specific Shari’ah rules, and this is not allowed.
While we appreciate the statement cited by the Religious Authority that Khimar is one of the obligatory commands imposed by Islam, we regret the Authority’s silence and not stating the Shara’ee command on the issue of Khimar or banning of Khimar in official public places on the ground that this Authority is not empowered to do so! We had expected them to unequivocally & publicly state that Khimar was a command imposed by Allah (swt) and it can not be prohibited in any place, time or situation.
- The Supreme Administrative Court and the Supreme Court of Cassation and other governmental agencies along with the Republican People’s Party, CHP (Cumhuriyet Halk Partisi) and the left leaning Democratic Left Party, DSP (Demokratik Sol Parti), including sections of media and civil organisations linked the Khimar issue to the survival of the current ruling system and projected it as having the potential to create disturbances. This reflects their old & deep rooted hatred for Islam. The reality is evident, that is Turkish state was formed as a Secluar (godless) state that delniked Islam from people’s lives and state, and also intervened to removed Islam from certain personal matters too. The Turkish state was formed when the Othmani Khilafah was confronted with the imperial and colonialist West’s occupation, by forming a state within a state under their support and patronage to destroy the Khilafah. A war was delared against Islam despite the fact that its’ people were Muslims. The Turkish state since then has continued to use various means to keep Islam away and removed from the society and state. Therefore, the Secular dictatorial state does not disapprove using such venomous & misleading terms like ‘reactionary’, ‘political Islam’ and ‘rateardation’.
- The aspect of rights that they cite in banning the Khimar is: The decision of the Constitution Court with reference to certain constitutional clauses especially Article 2 and hold its clause as non-changeable and accept no demand for its change (What sort of democracy do they subscribe to!). In addition, they aslo cite the decision of the European Human Rights Commission and the department of Higher education (YÖK) which are considered an obstacle in lifting the ban or atleast a great hindrance to wards lifting the ban. (for a complete reference to the decsion of the European Human Rights Commission, please refer to the refutal prepared by Mr. Okai Bala, the representative of Hizb ut-Tahrir in Holland, which was sent to the Commission on January 1st, 2006 regarding its decision on the petition of Mrs. Layla Shaheen, a victim of the Khimar against the Turkish state).
The basis of their banning the Khimar was that it represents a ‘political symbol’, this basis has three aspects:
- Calling it a ‘political symbol’ actually refers to the Islamic ideology because the Khimar is emblem unique to Islam and from the perspective of those who advocate its prohibition, the Khimar distinguishes the Muslim women who want to bring Islam to the centre-stage of life. Though the discussion centered on the Khimar, their problem is not merely the Khimar, but includes anything that is associated with Muslims like, growing of the beard, wearing of the jebbah, the ‘amamah or the head cover, Naqab or the face cover, the Jilbab or the long outer garment, the muffler etc. it may be mentioned that lifting of the ban on wearing the Khimar is a partial lifting and not a complete one, i.e what is being said is “lifting of the ban on wearing khimar in universities and intermedeatte educational institutions”. It does not attempt to lift the ban on Muslim women wearing khimar, naqab and jilbab etc. in government offices and does not also talk of removing the abn imposed on girl students of primary and secondry schools nor allowing growing of beard for men or their wearing jebbah and ‘amamah. It also excludes the decision of the Supreme Adminstrative Court that prohibits Muslim women who work in government offices from wearing khimar in public life and merely in their places of work. Which means that the proposed lifting of ban does not cover all symbols of Islam, but only aims at partial lifting of ban of one of the banned Islamic symbols and this is aimed at realising certain polotical objectives which anyway does not contradict with the principles of capitalism, while capitalism is totally contradictory to Islam and its foundations.
- There has been an outbreak of controversies and differences over the meaning and connotations of khimar, claiming that the khimar is an Islamic symbol and the AKP is a party that advocates Islam and wants to lift the ban on wearing of the khimar and habours a secret agenda aimed at forming an Islamic State and pusues it cautiously. This derailed the case from its course. While the truth is that the AKP is as far away from Islam as East is from the West. The APK is aware of this fact as it is a party that protects secularism, liberalism and democracy and these attributes are not compatible with Islam in any way. What indicates their links to Islam is that the leadership of the party is Muslim, they have a past link of Islam and the wives of some of the leaders wear Khimar, all these are personal attributes and have no bearing to the reality of the party or its principles as such. The staements issued in Spain were in fact aimed at such members of AKP who often and at every given opputunity suspect that their party is not really an Islamic or religious party. Further the view point of the AKP toward the khimar problem is not a shara’ee view which is derived form the Islamic ‘aqeedah and its commands that the khimar is a command of Allah (swt), but actually their vioew is contradicting Islam. They view this issue from a democratic, secluar and liberal perspective and hold the view that wearing of the khimar is a right of the individual. There is no doubt that considering the khimar issue from this capitalistic perspective is against the shara’ which states that the khimar is a command of allah (swt) which must be implemented in keeping with the command and not as a matter of individual liberty.
- The ban imposed is aimed at Islam alone, as it does not target symbols and manifestations of other religions and ideologies. For instance, while there is prohibition on Muslim children learning the Quran, the activities of the christian missionaries are under no obligation and are free to spread delusions and strayings as when they like. The AKP itself had applied for membership in the European Union of Democratic Parties (Christian) and yet nobody critised it for being in violation of the constitutiion. Political symbols are permitted so long as they are in consonance with capitalism, communism or any other kufr ideology, but if they are Islamis symbols, then they are subjected to ban. On the political front also, they deal similarly, while the see the Turkish Communist Party as a legal party, the Hizb ut-Tahrir is viewed as an illegitimate one.
- The view of the AKP towards the khimar issue is suspicious, the Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan stated during the press conference while returning from Spain that this issue was not on his agenda and he was merely responding to a question from the journalists, but quickly corrected himself for having stated that ‘it was not on his agenda’ by adding that “it need not await a new constitution. Its solution is really simple-we sit together and agree on the issue, and it will be solved”. It is only now, after five years in power that they have discovered this issue?! If the issue could be solved very simply as he put it, then why did they not act to resolve the matter in their first term in office when they had a majority even higher than what they now have? We had in our open letter on 28th December 2004, addressed to the Prime Minister Erdogan pointed out that without resolving the Khimar issue in the light of the Sharee’ah, his remaining in office was a humiliation and a great crime. Again during his return from his visit to Lebanon in June 2005, he stated that the Khimar issue can be resolved, but he took no practical initiative in that direction. Further, he back tracked from issuing legislation that would treat adultery as crime. This certainly indicates that there is something else to this whole issue of Khimar, but what is actually behind it?..
- Why the haste in resolving the khimar issue without waiting for the new constitution and discussing it the light of the recent developments when the AKP and the MHP can effect suitable amendments acceptable to them! Especially since they have already delayed the solution for five years! Or have they confronted a minor obstacle in passing the new constitution and want to cover that by this move on the khimar issue.
- Do they intend to exploit the khimar issue before the local elections to garner a larger share of votes, or do they intend to advance the election schedule in case the ban is lifted?
- Is it intended to exploit on the continously burning confrontation between the pro British and pro US secularists by dragging the khimar issue to length or do they intend to use it as a bargaining tool or scoring points by using it as trump card.
- Do they intend to use this issue to counter the negative factors like the terror activities which have been the focus of public attention recently, or the military activity beyond their borders or even the effects of the global economic tremors? Or is it that they want to use the sensitive khimar issue as a cover for clandestinely carrying out a certain programme away from the public attention?
- The emergence of the Nationalist Movement Party the MHP is not simply aimed at ahving a piece of the candy, it realises that the AKP will insist on enforcing some sort of solution to the khimar issue so that it does not lose its vote base and popularity. Thus the MHP began drafting a proposal to amend the constitution before Erdogan’s return from Spain, and immedeately upon his return presented the proposal to him in order to seize the leading position and initiative from him to some extent. And when the AKP drafted an amendment proposal, the MHP concurred with it, because the was fully aware that if the AKP succeeded in resolving the issue of khimar, its popularity will will surge ahead qwhile that of MHP will be eroded. On the other hand if the AKP fails to resolve the issue now, it will attempt to strech the issue untill the the next genral elections as it did in the past. This is why the MHP sat down with the AKP in order to deny it the trump card. The MHP like the AKP is an opputunistic party out to grasp every opputunity, it is not concerned with removing the injustice of secularism from the Muslims and the Islamic symbols.
The khimar is an obligation imposed by Allah (swt) and it the crown of the Muslim women. There can be no ban on it and no one has the authority to prohibit this obligation. A Muslim woman is not allowed to remove her khimar either for seeking education or work or for any other purpose.
The Khimar issue, though it one of the aspects of comprehensive Islam, but its kuffar detractors and their associates are notorious and have harboured their illwill for long. The issue has assumed various proportions at different times in various places ever since the kuffar began their hostilities in Madeenah al Munawwarah and even during the treacheries that occurred during the Byzantine hatred; since the formation of the Turkish republic to the persecution and killings meted out by the Jewish entity; since this issue emerged in Turkey and assumed crisis proportions during the 1960’s and was treated with aversion & repugnance in corners of America, England, France, Holland, Belgium, Germany, Azerbaijan, Tunisia, Tajikistan, Chechnya and the Balkans, this has been one of the prominent issues that highlighted their hatred towards Islam.
What the Turkish government has done in the five years of its rule is its’ statement that it will resolve the issue of Khimar, now why does this government wants to resolve the issue? Is it because it is an obligation imposed by Islam? Or is the government trying to defend the liberties of Muslim girls and their right to education? Or is there another motive? There is no doubt that the government is not trying to defend it as an Islamic obligation, for if it were so why would it continue to imprison Muslim youth and embrace the kuffar who are enemies of Islam & Muslims. Also the right of Muslim girls to education is not the reason why the government is trying to defend the Khimar, it is well mnown in Turkey that all rights and liberties cease to exist if they have any thing to do with Islam or concerning those who are tyrannised. Above all, the lawyers officially designated by the AKP government to defend the Republic of Turkey in the European Human Rights Commission, defended against the khimar in such a way so as to result in a decision by the commssion validating the khimar ban in Turkey. Therefore the AKP government is using the khimar issue as a trump card in its confrontation with the invisible wings of the state generally referred to as the ‘ elite bureaucrats’. It has used the issue in a most reprehensible way to increase its popularity and position. Its successful conclusion is an important step in the strategic agenda of the kafir United States in Turkey and the AKP has done all it could in order to achieve this and at the same time, it has done nothing for the sake of either Islam, or the country or its Muslim people!! Their plight like those whom the Prophet (saw) described it his hadith to one of his noble companions and said: “May Allah (swt) save you from the leadership of the foolish”, the companion asked the Prophet (saw) “ who are from the foolish leadership”? The Prophet (saw) replied: “ Those rulers who will come after me and they will neither heed my guidance nor follow my way (sunnah), so whosoever validated their lies and supported them in their treachery, will not be from me and I am not from them and they will not (allowed to come near) my well, i.e. al-Kawthar, and whoever does not validate their falsehood and does not support them in their treachery, they are from me and I am from them and they will meet me at my well, i.e. al-Kawthar.
As for the Muslims, they must understand that the khimar is not an issue of personal freedom or a democratic right, it is rather a form of worship or ‘ibadah of Allah (swt), and an ‘ibadah is not a matter of option or freedom, it is an obligation imposed by Allah (swt). A Muslim is obliged to carry it out always and in every condition as stipulated by Allah (swt). Since it is an obligation imposed by Allah (swt) on Muslim women, it preserves the modesty and honour of the Islamic Ummah. We must never forget that the Prophet (saw) declared war on the Jews because a Muslim lady who went to sell her ornament and was sitting at the place of the Jewish goldsmith. The Jews wanted her to expose her face but she refused, so the goldsmith decided to tie her garment behind her, as a result of which, when she stood up, she was exposed and the Jews ridiculed her and she cried for help. A Muslim youth pounced on the Jew goldsmith and killed him. The Jews then attacked the Muslim youth and killed him. As a result war was declared on them and they were expelled from Madeenah. This is the meaning and position of khimar in Islam and this is how Muslims value it!
In a democratic set up, the defence of khimar is a matter of personal freedoms which allows women to either wear khimar or discard it…! This is not the case in Islam, and such an option is not allowed, rather all actions of a Muslims must only emante from the Islamic ideology. Therefore it is prohibited for a Muslim to demand lifting of abn on it citing a democratic right or personal freedom etc., which are from the thoughts of kufr manifestaion. Rather a Muslim is obliged to implement it as a command of allah (swt). Similarly it is not allowed to restrict theis issue to wearing it in universities and intermedeate schools only, while allowing the ban to remain in primary & secondary schools, government offices and military bases. Further , it is a grave error to confine this issue only to khimar, and exclude it from learning and repeating of the Quran and ban on other Islamic symbols and manifestations like growing of the beard, wearing of jilbab and veil etc. Moreover, focussing on this issue alne while neglecting the issue of strick prohibition on implementing the Islamic commands comprehensively in the society and state is also a grave mistake.
Indeed Allah (swt) has imposed upon us as Muslims, that we keenly work to implement Islam and support its Da’wah wholly including the ‘ibadaat, transactions, punishments, morals, personal issues, jihad and khilafah without any exceptions. It is also incumbent upon us to work towards this by joining forces with an Islamic ideological and political party that is engaged in political & ideological struggle just as the Prophet (saw) did until a Khilfah Stte is formed on the model of the prophethood which will restore the Islamic way of life. Hizb ut-Tahrir Turkey calls upon you to work with it to establish this great command. Now that the truth is evident, whoever wishes may concur with call or turn his back, Allah (swt) is sufficient for us as support.
((إِنَّ هَذِهِ تَذْكِرَةٌ فَمَن شَاء اتَّخَذَ إِلَى رَبِّهِ سَبِيلاً))
Verily, this is an admonition, therefore whosoever wills, let him take a Path to His Lord!
[TMQ al Muzzammil:19]