Shocking, shocking Ramadan

Shocking, shocking Ramadan

I guess I am not the only one thinking the month of Ramadan is being observed in a rather “weird” way in the media.

I am not a scholar on religion. I don’t have the necessary experience, nor am I well equipped to lecture on that subject.

But there were nearly no such “shameful” discussions during the Ramadan months of my childhood.
I recall that the holiest month of Islam used to pass in a less “noisy way” compared to the rest of the year; in a mood of resignation, in a way that tolerance and solidarity would be upheld.

Yet, reading 2014’s model of Ramadan in the newspapers and social media, watching what I see on the television screen makes me feel as if the person next to me is being scolded.

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We entered the month of Ramadan this year with discussions of the wage paid to the popular men of religion for their programs broadcasted on private television channels...

This was not a debate one could turn a blind eye to and ignore. I was utterly astonished when I heard those scholars talking back, reacting to news stories, such as “which scholar gets how much money?” “They keep filling their pockets during Ramadan,” etc. I wonder what this has to do with Ramadan’s concept of meditation and resignation.

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Then, obviously, the substance of these programs came to the headlines.

 “The question that shocked the scholar! I sat on my brother’s head when I was young, is that a sin?”
“Harsh answers for the spectator who asked ‘my mascara ran while I was performing ablution; does that annul my fasting?”

“Shock! Shock! Shock! The scholar gave empty looks into the camera when asked this question.”
A holy environment dominated by debates, polemics and news at this level.

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For example, yesterday, a scholar’s 12-article “things that are permissible while fasting” list was debated. I, for instance, cannot write about one of the articles, since it may fall under “pornography,” according to daily Hürriyet’s publishing principles.  I am tempted to ask “my dear professor don’t you think talking about such lists could disrupt fasting?”

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As I said before, I can’t lecture on religious affairs.

I bet the majority in the country is having a peaceful Ramadan in line with tradition.
Yet, the scene that is reflected by the media is disastrous.