Get To Know: Dirman Emin

Hello, my name is Dirman Emin. I first want to thank Alin for giving me the opportunity to write on her blog. Keep up the great work Alin! The topic that I am writing about is my experience as a Muslim Kurd. I grew up learning about our culture from my parents who are from Southern Kurdistan. I mainly learnt about the oppression that Kurds experienced while Saddam Hussein was the leader of Iraq. Hearing the stories of our parents’ lives in the refugee camps, Halabja, Anfal and the martyrs including some of my family members, was very hard to accept. My parents are also Muslim and my mother comes from a very practicing family. My parents taught me to love all Kurds regardless of their religious beliefs. I never question other Kurds for their religious beliefs or practices, because quite frankly it’s not my business. At the end of the day we are all one. Growing up, I also learnt to pray, and fast, and a couple of years ago I started to wear the hijab. Even though I wear the hijab on a regular basis, I still love my culture. I still speak my language, wear Kurdish clothing, and got into debates with my classmates about Kurdistan. For me it’s quite simple: I love my religion and culture.

However, this idea of loving being a Muslim and a Kurd is both accepted and rejected by many Kurds that I have come across over the years. My focus is on those who reject this concept. I have heard some Kurds say that Islamic religious practices like praying five times a day, wearing the hijab, or going to the mosque are for Arabs only. I have also heard some say that Muslim Kurds are not “pure/true” Kurds. I try to understand these individuals’ points of views considering Kurdistan’s history and the fact that leaders of some Muslim dominated nations have oppressed us, and have at times used Islam to justify it.  Also more recently, we are all aware that Kurds have been fighting ISIS since 2014. However, just because I believe in Islam, it does not mean in any way that I do not love being a Kurd.  Yes I pray, but sometimes I do it while wearing Kurdish clothes. Yes I pray but I often also make supplications for Kurdistan. Yes I recite the Quran in Arabic, but after I am done reciting I go back to speaking Kurdish with my parents. I go to the mosque and interact with Muslims of various backgrounds, but I have no problems with sharing posts about the injustices some of the governments of their home lands committed/are committing to Kurds. My point is that no one should ever make you feel that you have to give up your religious practices to qualify as a Kurd. I believe that every Kurd should be able to express their identity in whatever way they are comfortable with. We have already experienced and continue to experience enough oppression, so the least we can do is be accepting of all Kurds. Much love to everyone and thank you for taking the time to read this. Also please forgive me if I offended you in any way. 😊<3

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