Welcome to My New Blog

Welcome to my new Blog! I hope this site will help all who desire Freedom from Islam. I hope to help girls and women,in any way I am able to: by educating people on the harm Islam causes to girls and women and all people.

I hope to dissuade any women thinking of converting to this (Oppressive ideology). I hope to deter others from taking the horrific journey that I underwent -by converting to Islam. It wasted my life, and caused much pain to myself and my family.

Sometimes positive can come from a terrible experience. I am able to educate women- and all who want to listen and have a desire for the truth. I am aware of the truth of Islam ,and I have much knowledge to share,so we can prevent Islam from encroaching upon our Free and Western societies. We often do not understand the value of our freedoms,until we no longer are free.

By Raquella Levin

Escape from Hell

The day finely came when it was time for the children to leave. It was Ramadan,and almost time for the Ramadan Eid Holiday,which follows after fasting for a month. We were all anxious the few days leading up to the girls departure. It was a sad ending for the girls, because they could not say a real good bye, to the girl and family who had befriended us.

We were advised not to tell anyone the girls were leaving. If my husband ever found out, he could prevent us from leaving and become abusive. People often gossiped in these Muslim communities and didn’t realize the danger of abuse in families. They often did not take it seriously and people valued men above women under Islam,even if often they did not admit this truth. Men are viewed as much more capable then women in,not just physically but intellectually as well. For me to make a decision for the best interest of my children would be seen as foolish,as a woman. My husband would be taken more seriously then myself as a woman,even though he was a step dad to my daughters.

Therefore we had to keep it all a secret . The girls would often go to their friend’s home for the iftar dinner,which is the meal after a day of fasting. But one day there was a problem. My daughter had done something wrong,and so they told her she could not come back. It had to do with the cleanliness of the home. In Islam women are often under tremendous pressure to keep their homes immaculately clean. It becomes their whole life and they often become obsessive about it. Miryem’s mother was this way. In Turkey people are very obsessive about cleaning . It can be a good thing and homes feel nice and comfortable,but taken to the extreme it creates family tension.

Because of my daughter making a mess in the house,she was banned from coming back. My other daughter was as well,even though she had done nothing wrong. Little did they know they would never see my girls again. But we just could not tell them;it was a very precarious situation. We couldn’t risk it or having Yavuz find out.

The girls were very sad about this. They had grown accustomed to this family, and they became like our family. They went one last time to say good bye in their own way,but they were still not allowed in the house. They cried a lot over it . They didn’t want to leave their friend and mentor Miryem. They grieved over it ,and it was a sad time . I was worried they would tell her,in hopes they would let them visit. But I explaine how serious the repercussions could be of telling her. I explained that Yavuz could find out, and prevent them from escaping. They wanted to go back to America and be free of him and get back to school,so they kept the secret.

We never really know when it is going to be the last time we are with someone and its sad that Miryem’s family chose cleanliness above caring. Miryem’s mother was so obsessed with keeping her home clean that she didn’t think about my daughters feelings. People can become so misguided and because of religious mandates and lose the meaning of what truly matters. They had no idea they would never see the girls again. Had they cared about their feelings, then they might of shared some memorable memories and last times together.

I think Islam can make women sick emotionally,because there is such an emphasis on women’s obedience to their husbands;they lose what is genuinely important and what being a spiritual person truly means. They are under so much pressure and under– Authoritarian rule of their husbands. This way of life does not bring them serenity, but constant strain of pleasing an –Authoritarian God. The heart is lost within Islam,because it is a system of tyrannical control.

The night before the girls were set to depart was very difficult. We were all filled with anxiety. Yavuz brought snacks and the girls favorite soda. My younger daughter said she felt sad,but my older daughter felt relieved that she was leaving. We would have to pack things early in the morning after Yavuz left for work,so as not to appear to suspicious that anything was happening, out of the ordinary.

I couldn’t sleep that night. I wanted everything to work out.Finally the morning arrived. The girls said goodbye to Yavuz. My younger daughter was sad,and she felt on some level he probably sensed something was wrong. We hurried about quickly, to get everything done and packed to catch the bus to the city. The girls flight was the next day and so we had leeway in case we missed a bus. There were many buses going into the city, where they would fly our of.

I had to keep my spirit calm within. I kept worrying that something could go wrong on our journey to get the girls free. I was also fasting which also made my spirit lethargic which did not help in the circumstances in which I needed physical and mental strength. I didn’t realize I did not have to fast,because I would be traveling , even if it was a short trip. But at the time, I thought I had to fast,because the trip to our friends home in Ankara was only a few hours.

We kept looking at each other during the bus to Ankara. I knew it would be the last time we would see one another for a long time. I had to keep myself from being tempted to cancel their trip;sometimes I wish I had so we could have left at a different time and stayed together. But the important thing is that I was able to get the girls out of there.

We stayed with an ex-patriot that I had talked to since I had been in Turkey. We were able to stay with a friend of hers, in the city close to the airport. I had been fasting and I was worn out. I was anxious about the separation and so were the kids. We talked a lot before leaving . I feel a lot of pain and distraught looking back and wishing I had had the courage to leave the abuse along with my daughters and to stay together as a family. But I can’t take the past back ;history can’t be changed and I have to accept that.

I was just too scared to leave at that time,fearful of what I had to face and worry about and how I would care for my daughters financially, as well as thinking about what kind of life I could give them. I also was trauma bonded to my husband and sadly felt I just could not leave him at that time. I wish I had had the strength and courage to do so, but I did not at that time.

The lady we stayed with was very nice to us and made us dinner and tried to be comforting. The girls played games together,but I was so anxious I could not join in. I wish I had been able to, as I wish I had last moments to remember with them, that were meaningful. I do remember one poignant moment with my older daughter. She was looking at a Mosque outside the house. It seemed beautiful to us at the time, with the call to prayer and the beauty of the mosque lit up at night. My daughter said ”look how beautiful this mosque is”. I at that time had a dream of us all being happy within that religion, and finding a sense of serenity and strong faith. It was a sad moment;her innocence I will always remember.

But it hurts a lot to know I allowed myself to separate from her. There was something special in that moment, and I will always remember it. The mosque had at one time been a Christian church, but was turned into a mosque during the Islamic conquest of Turkey. At that time I was deeply devoted to Islam and loved the call to prayer. Now I see it for what it is :an invasive ideology that has destroyed other religions and conquered many lands such as Turkey.

Had I not been so enamored and lost in Islam, I might have had the bravery to get out of there. Real faith would have led me to improve the bond with my daughters and too stay together as a family always. Family ties and love are what real faith is. I was lost. Real faith is bravery and fiercely fighting against abuse and those people who abuse and hurt us and the people we love.

My daughters were distraught that we were separating, and I know the pain of feeling abandoned stays with them forever, even though I sent them to someone who could care for them, and got them away from a dangerous situation. The ex-patriot I knew offered to help me get back and fly out too, but I did not have the vigor and determination to do so at that time. I was plagued by fear and felt I could not make it own my own as a single mom again.

We watched ‘Black beauty’ together as our last movie. I feel sad when I think of that story and that movie,because it brings back that last memory together. My older daughter just withdrew within herself in the small room she was staying in and cried. My younger daughter was angry and upset and we talked before the flight. We awoke early the morning and left for the airport after breakfast. I didn’t fast that day because I would be traveling back to my house.

Before we left my husband starting calling me on the phone. Miryem’s family notified him, that the girls were going back to America. He harassed us and told me that, if I sent them back, he would never forgive me and wouldn’t allow me back in the house. Miryem tried to convince my girls to stay, and so did her mother. I explained that I had to get my girls away from Yavuz, and that it was pertinent that they get back, to continue their education, as they wouldn’t be allowed to enroll in Turkish schools without proper visas. They told us that the only education my girls truly needed was an Islamic education.

I think they truly thought that way;education was not seen as important for women under Islam, since most women would be expected to get married and the husband is expected to take care of women financially. While Muslim women can be highly educated, it’s not a priority. It is more a priority for Muslim men. Miryem’s mother had only been educated up to the 6th grade. It was taught that Muslims would not have a good after-life — if one did not stay Muslim. They were more worried that my girls would leave Islam, their formal education was of secondary importance.

They didn’t want to spend as much time with my girls, but they did buy them clothes for the coming festival of Eid . They would have to take those clothes back to the market, and they told my girls how they had bought them new clothes and how sad they would be if the girls went back to the USA. In a way it was very sad,but our situation was dangerous, and the girls had to get out. In the end, they had banned my girls from their home, and we didn’t see them as much anyway.

The drive to the airport was very upsetting and we were all anxious. My daughter felt sick but was better when we got to the airport. The police were there to make sure that my husband and others did not prevent the children from leaving . They guided us to a place for me to wait with the girls until they boarded the plane.

The girls seemed to feel free now that they were safe from Yavuz. They were excited to get back to America. The wait and anticipation at the airport was upsetting. We knew it would be our last time together for awhile. We had never been separated, before but had always been together as a family. The girls had taken of the Islamic clothes they wore in Turkey and their head scarves.

Finally the host came, who would look after the girls on the flight to take them to the plane, along with another girl who was also traveling alone. It was a painful and sad moment when we hugged goodbye. I watched as the girls walked through the airport to the plane. My heart ached but I was so afraid of leaving my husband at the time I didn’t do what was right:to leave with them and keep our family together. It hurts to look back on it having the strength and wisdom that I have now but didn’t have then.

I was looking for a taxi and walking in the opposite direction,but I kept looking back at my girls watching them walk towards their flight until I could no longer see them. My heart sunk if only I had been able to find the heroine inside myself and do what deep within was right. But I chose the wrong and deadly path –I went towards Islam and back to my abusive husband. I was lost and brainwashed and trauma bonded bound by fear within myself.

Fear is a natural emotion . It can help to protect us and it can be a gift to guide us away from danger and lead us down the right path. But if fear controls us as it did me it is harmful and deleterious to our well being. We must tame our fear and discriminate between fear that helps us against fear that will harm us.

That moment of separation remains forever imprinted in my mind and heart. It is daunting to me that I ever let us as a family be separated. The pain of it will always live within me ,but I know it has been more painful for my daughters and has caused them a lot of trauma that they are still healing from. I always with I could change that moment of separation into one of leaving together. But I can’t change time.

The girls were finally free. I was not able to become free from Islam until a long time later. I always wish we stayed together. But I am grateful I didn’t keep them with me in Islam. They are free to choose the lives they have know and to learn and grow. They aren’t trapped in the Islamic system that I was misguided and lost in. They are forever free.

Freedom is Precious: Liberty must always be protected- even in Perilous Times

We are living in tumultuous times. Our countries are slowly turning into Police states. Many people follow along like sheep, obeying their Governments, in supposedly Free western societies. But many people are waking up to truth and becoming conscious as well. If the shut downs would be conducive to eradicating the Corona Virus Pandemic and only was only a temporary measure , then that would be good , in order to protect Public health and safety,but Governments have used this pandemic to eradicate liberty. Will this virus be used to take our freedoms away ?

Is it being used by Authorities to implement an Authoritarian and invasive— Medical and Police state? I fear this may be true. Why does the whole economy need shut down? More people will die from hopelessness and suicide ,then any virus could cause,because they can’t support themselves and their families, because of losing their jobs . People may want to die anyway, if they lose their independence and freedom. Another solution would be to only quarantine elderly populations and those with underlying health conditions in their homes– and not the whole population. But this should be a choice as well, for the elderly and others … a protective health measure taken only out of their own free will and volition. We do not live in China…..we do not live in a Communist and deadly Regime. We must protect our freedoms and our Constitution in free societies—no matter what.

If it is temporary,than this measure can save lives. But if we lose freedom and the Government becomes more Authoritarian and tracks and controls our every move and our lives—- then that is never worth it. I would rather risk my life, then lose my- Rights and Freedoms. A life without freedom—- is a life that is not worth living. I am afraid of death , as this is a normal human fear, but not so afraid of death, that I will do anything and submit to being a slave of a– Police state. I have made peace with dying–but never will I submit to losing my– Natural rights and freedoms.

I just left a Totalitarian ideology . That ideology was Islam. Islam is similar to communism… in that it dictates every part of one’s life, from the moment one wakes up in the morning ,to the moment one sleeps at night. I felt so free when I left the brainwashing system of Islam. It is a horrid cult and Totalitarian Ideology. It is not just a mere religion. I felt I was free to think and feel, and be a human being again,after I left. There were times when I was a Muslim, when I would glimpse into the past, when I was not a Muslim, wishing I could feel the freedom I had. But then I was so brainwashed, I felt I could never leave Islam. I thought Islam was– the only way and truth. I am so grateful I woke up,left Islam and saw it for what it truly was–an Authoritarian Tyranny that seeks total submission and control if its adherents–similar to Communism.

Allah was a cruel Dictator, not a loving God that the Christian and Jewish Faiths adhere to. Of course there has been much reformation to these faiths, and the cruel laws of the old testament and Torah have been reformed in the modern age, and they are not taken seriously. No loving spiritual God would ever be like a cruel Dictator. I truly feel that within me…. and that mindset freed me from the oppression of Islam.

At present we have a virus that has grown into a pandemic. But who is behind it? Do we ponder these questions,or do we believe everything we hear from the mainstream media? It could be a- Bio weapon that leaked from a lab intentionally or unintentionally, or caused by animals from a wet market. The animals are cruelly treated in these markets. These abhorrent wet markets in China– should be banned forever. The Chinese are cruel to animals,and there are no animal rights under the Communist regime– that protects domestic as well as wild animals. Chinese products should be banned from our countries, and we should not be allies with any Communist Authoritarian regime ever.

China needs to make reparation for this virus , as more evidence shows the virus was hidden from the world and evidence is showing that it could have come from a lab in China. Communist China should be boycotted indefinitely, and never considered an ally of Western cultures. A communist government can never be trusted ever… just as an Islamic government, under Sharia can never be trusted.

The virus is terrifying people,but hopefully with Investigative Journalists and other Truth seekers ,we will know the truth. The deep state is real. While there may be good people in our Government there are corrupt factions within it ,that collaborate with corrupt factions in other Communist and evil Globalist Governments as well. They work together and that is why I believe the far left are are connected to Islam and Communist regimes such as the former Soviet Union and China. There goals are the same —as Islam and Communist regimes– to destroy Western Freedoms and natural unalienable rights and liberty and transform society into a Totalitarian Police state, that resembles a Sharia society such as Islam, or a Chinese Communist regime.

It is a crime how the Communist Authoritarian Government treated the Chinese people when the Corona Virus out break began in Wuhan. They treated their people abhorrently ,and this cruelty and torture should never be allowed to happen in the West,even in our present day catastrophe. They cremated sick people– before they were even dead. There are videos made by Chinese people– as witnesses to this. With our phones, we our able to record atrocities as they are happening,that we were unable to do in former times. That is torture and China should be condemned for these atrocities– and not praised. People were forcibly dragged from their homes and thrown into quarantine. Who knows what truly happened to some people taken from their homes. People were boarded up in their homes as well, and left without food and necessities to survive. There are Chinese witnesses who have spoken up about this cruelty.

This should– never be condoned,or allowed to happen in Free Western societies. We should fight against this –if Government insists on taking away our liberties,during a pandemic. An Authoritarian and ruthless dictatorship ….should never be praised but — fought against. No sickness or anything for that matter… should be an excuse or reason to allow ourselves to succumb to so much fear and panic– that we become willing to give up our freedoms– that our Ancestors fought for. Our society has slowly let Government intrude to much in our lives. We need to turn things around and live our lives more independently– with little government intervention.

We can’t allow ourselves to become like sheep to the slaughter-fearing for our lives… that we will do anything to survive ,submitting to Authoritarian rule, even if it means becoming a mere slave. What is scary is that this pandemic, may be just the excuse the Globalists need to take away the Us Constitution and create an Authoritarian state just like– Communist China or an Islamic Sharia state.

This is not to proclaim that the Covid-19 Virus is not real. If it was a bio- weapon or or caused by animals within wet markets–it still can be dangerous to people who are immune compromised . As Trump says, it is a silent killer. But I also believe this is being used to terrify people and traumatize them. Many people who are dying in hospitals are dying of other illnesses,and on their death certificates– the cause is being put down as Covid-19. This is very deceptive and the numbers seem exaggerated.

What kind of world will we return to. Are people going to become subservient and obedient to the Government and submissively take a vaccine without questioning and investigation of what is actually in it? Will people resort to being possibly- chipped by the government or allow constant surveillance through the smart phones? Will we allow this to happen? One can see the panic ,as people hoard food and supplies in the stores. The fear mechanism kicks in and the fear of death prevails above a sense of morale and self agency. Is life and fear of death so important to us that ….we will give up the American Constitution and our rights; will human beings give up their natural given human rights-that are not bestowed upon them by Government but something greater-God a higher being or just Natural law and rights depending on a person’s beliefs and philosophy. I fear what the repercussions of this pandemic will be.

It is so important not to become complacent and– to continue to question everything we are told,as much of mainstream media is fake and is created by wealthy Globalists who want to make us believe what they purport to be true. It is important to do our own research, no matter how unsettling and baffling that can be. The truth can set us free– no matter how unbelievable or horrendous it may be. While there are many good people in the world, and in Government, there are also people who follow the inclination to do evil and harm, and when they obtain power use it to to implement cruelty and callousness . There are many Psychopaths and Sociopaths in our world, and just because they are in Top government, or are well known in the medical industry and regarded as authority and experts,this does not mean they are well meaning and working, for the best interests of the people.

The awakening of people is happening– I believe. We must fight for our rights and freedom if and when it may come to that. We must never become complacent… allowing Authorities to force us into compliance— where we could become submissive slaves as many Muslims are and the Chinese, to their Corrupt Governments and Atrocious Ideologies. People are afraid of this virus. But we can’t capitulate to fear… so much so that we would be willing to let our free countries become concentration camps —- adapting to these conditions , and allowing this to become our normal lives. One can die an emotional and spiritual death,while still being alive. I am more afraid of that kind of death,then a physical death. We must always protect our –Unalienable rights and Liberty.

Preparing to Escape- Part 2

It was a distressing time as I was making plans for the children to escape. We all were nervous about separating. I thought at the time,if I had clarity and time to think, I would be able to get myself out of there and back to my home country with the girls. I was very trauma bonded, at the time to my husband. Trauma bonds happen when people are abused, by people they love. Sometimes it can be a stronger bond, then in healthy and good relationships,because of the intermittent times, when the abuser is kind and nice.

It was not a relationship of equity or a relationship developed out of real love and authenticity. There can never be real love when there is abuse of any kind and misuse of power. In Islam the relationships between men and women are never healthy ,and there is always a misuse of power. A relationship is a contract,whereas the women must obey the husband always, and she gives her sexuality to him. She no longer has volition or power over her own body and spirit. She is not even allowed to -refuse to sexual intimacy that she does not want. She actually sells her sexual parts, to her husband in the contract of marriage. It is truly sickening and disgusting.

There is a hadith that Muslims often quote to women they see as disobedient: A women most leave her stove ,even if she is baking bread ,if her husband calls her to sexual intimacy. She has no right to refuse her husband sexually,unless she is seriously ill or on her monthly menstrual cycle. That is the time that Islam prohibits sexual relations,but only at that time,or if the woman is seriously ill. There is another hadith that prohibits women from refusing sexual relations with her husband. It says: If a woman denies her husband sex,then the angels will curse her until morning. Women often scold each other about this, and older women till younger girls and women to always obey their husbands and not to anger them by refusing sexual intimacy . It is a society where misogyny prevails and even women on women misogyny ,and peer pressure is very common.

The relationship between a husband and wife is mostly about the woman’s role as- sexual slave and house slave…where her worth is her her mastery in cooking skills,sexual relations and housekeeping skills. I observed many women enervated and worn out, from having to constantly perform these roles. Love often did not exist between men and women ,in the Islamic marriage . I knew many Muslim women who were very depressed and unhappy in their marriages.

My husband saw our relationship through the Islamic kaleidoscope . It was often perplexed at his world view. I was there to clean mostly,cook and be a sex slave. We never went out much or spent time together . I was kept at home, most of the time,as well as my girls.

Yet even though my marriage with Yavuz was so horrendous…I still always hoped it would improve. I denied so much abuse, and tried to see it as a good relationship ,an Islamic relationship and I needed to make the marriage work. I would feel sick at the thought of separating from him. In my heart, I knew it was the right thing to leave him and escape with my children. Yet I felt tied to him,chained to him and I would panic at the thought of leaving him. It was so very visceral — a strong traumatic feeling within my spirit and body. I can’t even explain it on some level. I had always felt this kind of debilitating fear as a child…these trauma bonds were ones ,I lived with in all childhood relationships with parents and my step dad,as well as with a grand parent. I knew no other way . Physical and mental torture was my life experience growing up. I never had a healthy relationship with anyone. When I was hit and abused by Yavuz– it all just felt like the way human relationships were suppose to be.

Most people looking in from the outside would think”Why doesn’t she just get out of there, and save her children and herself”? But sometimes it is more complex in abusive relationships, depending on the background of a particular women. Trauma bonds are real. I couldn’t get out -the bond held so much power over me. I did not have a strong enough bond or real good friend with anyone in my home country . If I had, I think I might have been able to leave and break the power the abusive relationship had over me.

I was terrified of not being able to support my girls financially and not being able to give them a good life. I had not yet finished my undergraduate degree and in 2008-2009, the financial crash hit. Although it probably could have worked I was filled with fear of poverty for us all and just fearful after all the abuse.

The night before we were set to leave ,was the most difficult. We had plans to meet some American Muslims in the city my daughters would fly out of. That would be the first step,getting to their home and then the kids would fly out of the country the next day. We were all anxious and it was hard to be around Yavuz ,because we had to keep it all a secret for their safety. He would never let them leave,even though they were not his own children. He was possessive over them and he had the final say in any decision I made…as women are seen as less intelligent in Islam then men. Even though they were my own children,in his mindset –I could not make that decision. Women are believed — to have half the mind of a man within Sharia law. They are often seen as intellectually inferior. I was treated as inferior ,and it was because of the Islamic view and perception of women.

We were all worried he would realize or understand something was going on. We were afraid he would find out ,or sense our anxiousness. It was difficult to remain calm and continue our lives normally, as if nothing was going on,but we did.

It was Ramadan at that time. This was the most important time for Muslims. They fast from Dawn until sunset for one month. We were fasting too,and so I was more anxious,because fasting depletes the body of energy….and even more so ,because I was in an abusive and traumatic environment. The fasting made me more weak and subdued. It was detrimental to my well— being given the dire situation. The girls would try to fast for half of the day. I didn’t expect them to fast as they were 10 and 11 at that time ,by our second Ramadan in Turkey. I felt they were too young, to be expected to fast.

Their friend Miryem would try to persuade them to fast,by inviting them over to watch movies during the day while fasting.That gave them some motivation, as they knew they could spend time with her as well as, break the fast with her family,which they felt a part of. It seemed odd that they watched movies while fasting:they usually are suppose to fast from everything- and not just food and drink. Miryem’s mother was not to keen on them viewing films,but Miryem felt it was okay ,and a way to pass the time when fasting.

But the last Ramadan fast that the girls spent with Miryem and her mother was a sad one. It showed us , just how harsh Muslims can become and especially Muslim women. There didn’t seem to me to be much compassion among the women in Islam…. because there was so much suppressed frustration,anger and deep misogyny among the women. Before the girls departure… the last time they spent with our friend’s family was sad and hurtful. It was painful…because it would be the last time they would visit together before escaping.

Next :Departure out to safety -Part 3

Flight to Safety-Part 1

It had been a year since we had come to Turkey. The girls were back in the house ,as the school shut down for the summer. Yavuz became more abusive,and the abuse kept escalating in stages,with each stage,becoming more drastic and horrific. The girls could not be obedient little Muslims as Miryem’s family suggested to us. How could they be;they needed to be normal little girls and to play and and be free as children, are suppose to be and have a right to be.

That summer we were all getting hit and abused more then before. That is the way abuse happens, often escalating. The girls were bored throughout the summer,as there was not much recreation for children in Islamic countries. Girls stay inside most of the time. Turkey is more advanced then other countries,but still children were taught to remain quiet and and girls are taught to spend a lot of time cleaning their homes at young ages and serving tea to adults and family.

Another school year would be beginning ,and I did not want my children to lose any more school. They had already lost a whole year:they only attended the Islamic school. My husband did not care about their education. He came from the viewpoint, that girls can marry and become housewives,and that this is their main role in life. Even though Muslim girls can be educated,it is often not taken seriously. Women’s primary role in Islam is to be a wife and mother. She is always under the guardianship of a man.

A lady I knew back in the states offered to take the kids, until I could get myself back to the states. It was foolish in a way to send them without myself,but at the time I felt inadequate. I had not finished my Bachelors degree. I felt I had no way to support my children. I might have been able to support the three of us ,but I was afraid I could not. After all the abuse, I felt useless and hated myself and blamed myself for all the abuse.

It was difficult economically in the states. The recession had hit in 2008 and life had changed. It was not as easy to get grants to finish the undergraduate degree, I had been working on. Although when one has the will and way ,I believe one can do anything to a certain degree. Our demeanor and attitude within is always within our control,even if at times are life circumstances are not. Most women would never be able to separate from their children. I had been burnt out a long time, on top of being abused. I was trauma-bonded to my husband and felt I could not survive without him. I had been trauma bonded all my life-first to my abusive parents and my step dad,and then in abusive relationships as well as in abusive friendships.

The summer I was busy concocting a plan to get the girls out safely without, Yavuz knowing. Even though my girls were not his daughters,he had already become possessive of them in a way that was unhealthy and bordering on incestuous. I had to get them out of there. Young girls are seen in Islam as sexual beings from the age of 8 or 9. Other Muslims in our town,told me to keep my girls there. They could be married,within a few years. Women friends would tell me not to worry about their education,as they explained being good Muslim girls was top priority and takes precedence over secular education. I was not able to get them enrolled in Turkey ,because we needed permission from their biological father. We could not locate him,but doing so would be unsafe, because he had been abusive.

My husband would often say”we can send them to my mother’s in her village, if we can not get permanent visas for them”. He did not take their schooling very serious. He would also say they could marry. He would tell them they had to be better at housecleaning, and that no man would marry them, with their lousy house cleaning skills. He had a completely different worldview of girls and women,which was abhorrent. He thought they were marriage age, once they reached their teenage years. His mother had tried to marry him off to young girls in the past. The village where he came from was even more back -ward then the city we lived in. Honor killings often happened in his city and he told me about them.

There were times when he became horrendously abusive,chasing us around the houses with knives terrifying us. He would scare the girls telling them, that if they did not behave and clean the house ,or were disobedient then he would have to cut their noses off,as was done to disobedient Muslim girls in his village. He would tell me that he was lying to them,and was just trying to deter them from bad behavior to warn them. He would laugh as he told me he was just trying to scare them. But I took it very seriously and was terrified he would hurt them. I started to hide knives;I was terrified of him for the girls and myself. The truth is that even though Yavuz said he was just trying to scare us;cutting off the noses of disobedient girls and women is a real punishment in Muslim cultures and did happen in the Muslim Community he was raised in and born into in Turkey.

This is often the plight of girls and women under Islam. Men have absolute power over women in Islam. Even though Turkey was a secular country ,honor killings happen often and men often are married to more then one wife illegally. Women are treated in a condescending way often in Turkey and men are valued highly. No one came to our our rescue, when we were being abused. No one would help us.

I began to disintegrate psychologically and emotionally. It was subtle and happened insidiously, and I did not recognize what was happening to me spiritually and psychically. I was in survivor mode. I felt enervated and I I already had many problems I had been coping with before with Ptsd-Trauma as well as being without healthy and supportive friends and relationships.

Because this woman and her husband offered to take my kids,it felt like the best solution. Her husband would take them for awhile,until I could get back myself or think through everything with clarity. I never would send my daughters to a man,but the lady I knew convinced me he was the perfect and most safe person who she trusted completely. I thought she was my friend,but I realize now we were not true close friends. We considered each other as friends. At that time she was one of my only contacts. I was always afraid of my girls being sexually abused,as I was as a child. I told them to tell me always if anything was wrong and anyone tried to abuse them. At that time I did not know what to do;it seemed like the only option available and we were vulnerable. I had to get the children out of there,away from Yavus and on to safer ground. Sometimes women who have been sexually abused,end up not listening to the signs of danger they feel within themselves,the cycle of abuse can then repeat itself with their own children. It does not happen with every abuse victim and some are able to stay in tune with their instincts and fiercley protect their children. But for me I was repeating the cycle of abuse and in a vulnerable position. I should have never sent my children to these people ,had I listened to my intuition.

Even though my children were not Yavuz’s children,we were warned not to tell him or anyone we knew that they were leaving. He still was a step dad to them and was possessive and abusive. Muslim men have a sense of the women and girls in their charge as possessions and belonging to them . They treat girls and women as property. My husband had a very unhealthy and abusive attachment to my children. He didn’t see them as people with their own feelings. He never considered their needs. Islam brings about narcissism in men. They are given priority in the religion, and given a strong sense of entitlement that creates unhealthy egotism and narcissism within the culture. It is prevalent everywhere,but deeply ingrained in the Muslim male mind.

I had some contacts in a larger city in Turkey ,who I had found through someone back in America. They would help me get the children to the airport safely and offered us a place to rest and relax before the girls would catch their flight. We had to make preparations quietly so as not to arouse the suspicions of Yavuz and any of our friends.

In the Muslim world women don’t take domestic abuse and violence as seriously. They are often on the man’s side and pressure one another to accept abuse or to appease the men in their lives….whether fathers,male relatives or husbands. Miryem’s family tried to convince us to make Yavuz happy, to hopefully alleviate the abuse. Of course it was not my girls and my fault for the abuse he perpetrated on us. But women are very misogynistic in the Muslim world,even towards them selves. They are trained that way from an early age

We had no one who was on our side,who we felt would or could protect us. The girls just wanted to be free again,and enjoy the natural freedoms they had taken for granted back in America. They even looked forward to the privilege of attending school again,having been out of school for one year. We were all apprehensive ,worrying about whether we could get them safely to the Airport,without Yavus finding out or trying to stop us.

Next – Part-2 Flight to Safety

The Horrible Plight of Young Girls in Islam.

The spring came to end, and the Islamic school closed for the summer. The girls had an end of the year Islamic program of reciting the Quran and the sayings of the Prophet,and then the school closed for the summer months. They had an end of the year picnic and they went for an outing at a beautiful park to close the school year.

The girls came home with just a week of school. They brought me some left-over food and Turkish dishes from their picnic. They had had enjoyed some good times in the school. They talked about playing games and jumping rope with their teachers ,when they went on a field trip to a different town. They laughed a lot about the picnic and the fun they had had. They usually never went on outings with the school. The girls were sequestered in the school home, and they hardly ever went out. This had been a change and they were very happy to see a more relaxed and joyful spirit in their Muslim teachers.

Most of the time the teachers were strict and did not seem to show much emotion. All the girls in the school had, had a good time at the picnic and they all had to say their goodbyes. They signed cards and my girls received cards with many Turkish messages from their class-mates. My younger daughter tended to be more sentimental about endings and good byes. She grew very attached to people and had a sensitive nature. She had grown attached to one older girl in particular who was like a big sister to her. She was 16 and my daughter, had just turned 10.

But it was disturbing to hear that this young girl of 16, would be married off in the summer ,and would not return to the school in the Fall. Her name was Semra. My daughter was sad, she would not see her for the upcoming year. I asked her if it was Semra’s choice to get married,but my daughter said it was not but she wanted to please her parents,and she had to be obedient to them. Many Turkish girls are very obedient to their parents and often strict Muslim parents marry them, off as a child brides. Even though it is a secular country,child marriage happens and polygamy is also practiced,with men having one legal wife and procuring other wives through Muslim marriages- that are not legal under Turkish law. In Islam a man is allowed to marry up to– four wives. Muslims often believe that Islamic laws are above the laws of the state,and they will follow the Islamic laws adhering those laws as Supreme,above all else.

‘A’isha (Allah be pleased with her) reported that Allah’s Apostle (ﷺ) married her when she was seven years old, and he was taken to his house as a bride when she was nine, and her dolls were with her; and when he (the Holy Prophet) died she was eighteen years old. Book 8-Hadith-3311).(www.https://quranax.com).

I had a Muslim woman friend who told me that Allah’s laws are above Man-made laws. She had known about A Syrian man who was a refugee in Turkey. He had two wives and had several children. He had brought both wives with him to Turkey,along with all children from both wives. One wife was not legal in Turkey and did not have legal status. I told my friend that polygamy was illegal in Turkey and ”didn’t this man feel uncomfortable with not following the Turkish laws”?

She smugly told me that” Allah’s laws are above Turkish secular law or any other law system”. I thought this was wrong and that he should follow the secular law, if he was welcomed in Turkey as a Syrian refugee. She kept saying Allah allows a man to have four wives– and woman can’t go against (Allah’s laws) as Sharia reigns supreme over any Western legal system. Often Muslims have this smug and arrogant attitude when they move to Western Free Societies. Muslim women are often complacent in their own oppression and misogynistic towards other girls and women.

And so this poor young girl Semra, would be married off to some older man in a village . Her rights and feelings would never be considered. Her talents and abilities would all go to waste. She would probably never finish high school or go on to University or Higher Education. Her future would be desecrated , by this– horrible ideology of Islam. This very immature teenager….still a child would be raped and forced into sex she would not want,– at such a young and precious age. She would not get to choose a partner out of love-out of her own free will and volition. Her life would be ruined under Islam.

Her parents had chosen a husband for her and she had no volition and freedom over her own life. It is a tragedy that young children and young girls are often married off like this under Islam. Old men feel it is their right to take young girls as wives- and to have up to 4. They follow their Prophet Muhammad, who had more then 4 wives,because of his status as the -Prophet of Allah. He also married his first wife Aisha when she was a child-6 years old,and consummated the marriage when she was 9. Muslims follow this example from the dark ages. State laws and Western laws are unimportant to them. They view the behavior and actions of their Prophet, in the 7th century as applicable for all times and places.

Muhammad was a pedophile and Islam condones pedophilia by marrying off young girls who are children and teenagers. The teachers at the school would often tell my girls to cover up around my husband and wear full Islamic dress and hijab. They were worried my girls would attract my husband. They were just 10 and 11, yet Muslim women blame girls for men’s sexual desires.

But my girls did like their teachers and they were adjusting to all the Islamic beliefs and teachings at the school. They told me when they were playing ,when men walked by they had to stop immediately and put on their full-sheet like- charshaff-burka like coat. Even girls jumping rope and just being kids – could attract men. It was very appalling and sad.

We spent the weekend together and the girls went back to school for the last week. I was worried about them having to be home for the long summer with my husband. I felt they were safer at the school and I was afraid he would abuse them. But the school closed and so they brought all their things from the school home. Miryem’s dad dropped them off and they unpacked and stayed in the room that was theirs.

Many Muslim women are very misogynistic and cater to the needs of men . Miryem and her mother came over to have a talk with my girls and I,since they knew the girls would be with Yavuz again, and exposed to his abuse. They brought us a few bags of food as charity- because they knew ,that I had often been hungry, and they knew Yavuz often did not buy food. They didn’t want the kids to go hungry.

They explained to the girls to always wear their Islamic dress around Yavuz. Even though he was their stepdad he could be tempted,they explained. In their mind it was the young girl s responsibility for men’s sexual desires. Miryem and her mother had grown up with Islamic beliefs all their life and could not understand a different world view. Women were to be obedient and subservient– in their minds. It is all Miryem’s mom knew of the way life was suppose to be and ordained by Allah. She told them to cater to my husband….bring him tea and appease him, so he would not become angry and abusive. Miryems Mom advised them to be quiet and stay in the room, when he arrived home for work. She said it would even be haram(prohibited in Islam) for them to be around him too much,as he was not their real biological dad. It was truly appalling, that they had these beliefs about girls so young as 10 and 11. It is like my girls were already little women and not children. Children need to play and be free,not have to worry about adult concerns;this is their right as children,and as adolescents.

They lectured to me about the importance of keeping the girls very quiet, and not to make my husband unhappy or angry. Miryem explained how her father had to discipline her mother when she was younger, because her mother misbehaved. It’s as if a woman is always a child ,even when she is an adult. The belief is that women are the weaker sex, emotionally and physically. Miryem thought hitting was wrong ,but yet she condoned it, by her misogynistic attitudes towards women. The man was above the woman and seen as superior within the Muslim family.

We struggled through the summer and the abuse escalated. Something had to change for the girls sake and safety.

Coming Next-Flight to Safety

Descent into Islam:The Trip back to Turkey

We were all very relieved that the morning had finally arrived. We were back at the bus station,waiting for the restaurants to open so we could get breakfast. The girls were drawing pictures on their drawing pads. I was reading some books, I had brought with me on the trip. I was an avid reader and loved reading and books. Books kept me sane;reading has helped me survive many difficult times. It keeps my spirit alive and hopeful.

Many people came into the bus station who had also been to Greece,only to obtain new Turkish visas to stay in Turkey. One woman came in who was working in Turkish who was from Australia. She was a young woman,working as an English Teacher in the large city of Istanbul. She asked me when the next bus trip was leaving for Turkey. I told her we were waiting to go to the travel agent who sold the tickets. We no longer could get the tickets, from the bus station,which I had discovered on our former trip to Greece. It was complicated to try to find the travel agent the last time,in a country with very little English s signs,only Greek,but we had managed to find it.

I told her she could come with us, and we would show her where to get the tickets. We spent the day with her ,and had lunch. The same agent was always at the travel agent,and from having to travel so much to Greece for visas ,she knew us well. We all got our tickets and decided to go to lunch together, since we had a lot of time,until the afternoon bus back to Turkey would arrive.

Small kindnesses do matter,and especially when one has not experienced much kindness in the world. The agent was always nice to us and she was very helpful in getting us our tickets. I was nervous about not knowing the language and grateful she understood enough English , to communicate with us. It was nice helping Susan as well; she was confused ,as to where she would find a travel agent to purchase a ticket back to Turkey.

When I went over my money again, I realized that we actually did have enough money to, have been able to stay in a hotel the night before. I had counted differently and thinking in dollars. I think I was tired and anxious from the trip, and all the stress I was under from being abused by my husband. Trauma was accumulating within me- and often one operates in panic mode with stress overtaking the body. Studies have shown how trauma can affect the body biologically as well as psychologically. I was relieved to realize we had extra money,but upset that I had put us all trough the ordeal the night before ,of spending the night out on the streets.

Meeting Susan was a nice change for my children and they enjoyed her sense of humor and the free spirited nature she exuded. I was very tense and anxious and I’m sure that was hard on my girls at times. We had fun in the Greek restaurant and she told us about her life. She had been working and living in Istanbul, Turkey for a few years-about 4 years. She loved to travel and loved adventure.

After completing her degree in college,she decided she wanted to see the world and travel. She was about 28 years old. She seemed young to me. She decided to leave her home country of Australia- and she went to Turkey to explore, and then she applied for a job as an English Teacher,once she was able to get a job permit,which was very difficult. There is a lot a foreigner, has to do, to be able to get a work permit.

She found an apartment and lived on her own. She had a very independent spirit– and it was attractive. I felt that was missing within myself as a result of my anxiety and panic attacks, that I had experienced at times. Sometimes it made me agoraphobia-fear of leaving the house, which blocked my well being and adventurous side to myself. I felt somewhat envious of her. It was an adventure going to Turkey with my daughters,but a dangerous one,not done in a positive way,and one trip I wish I never had taken. She walked around Greece with no fear,exploring different sites and places. She made the visa trip a fun trip,adventurous and a time to explore a new country.

I was nervous from all the abuse and just fearful of being out and about on my own. I had been that way in my own country as well due to trauma and anxiety. It limited my life and the life of my growing girls at times. I was even nervous of going to the seaside and exploring Turkey with them. We often stayed in the house or just explored parks, near the house we were living in.

She seemed to have a good life on her own,exploring Istanbul and the world. She had traveled a lot and exuded a sense freedom and happiness. She told us she had stayed in a hotel room that was much less expensive,then the hotel we usually stayed. I had not known of it. She said if she knew we were stuck on the streets she would have invited us to stay in her room ,even if it was on the floor.

She had actually taken the same bus as we had from Turkey,but she just got on from a different city,then where we came from. We had not seen her on the bus, but it was a double level bus and we were on the top level,and she may have been on the lower level. She said she would be terrified, if she had ended up having to stay on the streets there.

After having a nice lunch at a fast food cafe, we walked around the city. It was quite congested and overwhelming in my mind. I never liked cities and crowds,and especially congested cities. We walked over to the sea side. She said she often went to the beach when she took her 3-6month visa runs. She made it into a short, but adventurous holiday. The girls wanted to go to the beach and became excited about going,but we did not have too much time and none of us wanted to miss the bus, and be held back in Greece for another night! We settled for the seaside area, where there were several boats and some places for us to explore.

I was able to discuss generally what was going on in our circumstances living in Turkey. Children often tell more of one’s life then desired. It can be difficult to keep many subjects private. But the girls had a need to talk to someone;children are often trusting even with strangers. But they felt some kind of affinity with Susan and they liked her. They must have felt bottled up painful emotions and pressure within ,with the abuse they were enduring and seeing me be abused as well. They finally could express their pent-up emotions and feelings.

” Your a free American woman, ;why do you stay in an abusive marriage”,said Susan? I did not know what to say. I was in a lot of denial and not facing the bitter and horrific truth of our situation with Yavuz, and our horrid circumstances. Islam blinded me to the truth,or I allowed myself to be blinded by Islam. While many abused women go into denial ,I think there is another deep layer added on by Islam,because abuse is allowed in the Quran. Men are given such a powerful position over women in Islam. They are repressed. I was repressed.

I was so afraid of becoming an unbeliever, that I felt I could not go back to my country. Islam is a– Supremacist Ideology and members are often brainwashed by it’s –Totalitarian and Supremacist nature. No matter what Susan said to me ,she could not wake me up, out of my temporary period of internal blindness . She was also an unbeliever and free,and Muslims often feel cautious,because they are warned of the sinful lifestyle of people who are not Muslims.

The girls tried to blame me for everything ,but Susan stood up and explained to them how hard it is to be a single mom and how much I had on my plate. As kids they did not understand the whole situation, which was natural for children, and they were helpless to change the abusive situation which was traumatic for them.

It was nice to have a carefree day in a sense and spend time with such a lovely and kind person. I think I was losing sight of what real goodness and true kindness meant. Our friends in the Muslim community were kind at times,but very dogmatic as well and it was affecting us all ,however insidiously . I wish I could have only taken in her gentleness of spirit within myself, and realized I was a valuable and worthy human being. I feel sad I was not brave and did not realize imperative it was , to protect my daughters and myself and leave our precarious life of abuse.

We finally were all on our way back to Turkey. She gave us her number and told us to visit her if we came to Istanbul. She kept reminding me that I was a free woman and she hoped I would escape with my daughters and leave, the abuse we were in ,but she also understood how hard it can be to leave.

The girls were tired and sad to go back,even after the horrible charade of being on the street all night. They enjoyed meeting a new traveler. Once we got back life digressed more and more. I had to find solutions, to the girls being in constant turmoil and to continually having to travel to Greece. After that night I wanted it to be the last time we had to go.

Coming Next- The Horrible Plight of Young girls in Islam

Descent into Islam: Part two-Traveling to Greece

By this time, we were use to traveling to Greece ,as we had been there a a few times or visas. Before I received my marriage visa,I needed to get a tourist visa to stay in the country. We knew some other ex-pat-converts ,who explained to us the process of obtaining our visas by going to the nearest country,exiting,staying a day and coming back to Turkey.

We had met this family, when we first arrived in Turkey. They were converts from the U.K and they spoke English ,and so they could converse with us easily. They had been in the country for over 20 years and had raised their children as Muslims in Turkey. They left their whole life to live in a Muslim country and live the Islamic life. They were a strict family. We only stayed a few days with them;I felt uncomfortable as the father seemed very dominating . The mother just obeyed her husband ,and would not be aloud to make the simplest of decisions without informing him. Often times Men convert to Islam because the gain power over women:I believe from all I have seen living as a Muslim is this is what attracts them to this ideology. Since women have gained more power over their lives in Western cultures many men despise women for this and Islam seems to them a good way to gain power over women.

They had traveled several times to Greece ,for years until they were able to obtain long standing work visas. I asked them if they had become Turkish citizens,or at least dual citizens ,but they had not . I never understood why:it did not make sense to me for to have to keep getting residence visas,if they planned to stay there permanently. I know I thought to myself that I wanted to become a dual citizen I remained there or a long time. I wanted to feel like a part of the community and a citizen. Each person’s story is different, and others may have no interest in obtaining citizenship if they can stay in the country through other means.

But they helped us navigate our trips to Greece,as well as where to go and stay. They had helped many other converts to Islam ,that had come to Turkey. Many did came to learn about Islam within an Islamic culture. We would have been lost without their help. It was confusing trying to navigate the system to get our visas.

The trip was about 4 hours to get to the nearest town in Greece. The girls enjoyed the bus ride ,but could not wait to get there. They slept and read books on the way. I just wanted to get the whole trip over with ,and to be on our way back to Turkey. We all were tired when we finely arrived. I took the girls to get a late lunch at the usual restaurant we went to that was a Greek Fast food restaurant. They always looked forward to going there. I looked and counted all the money I had. I realized I did not have enough money for us to stay in a hotel. It looked like we would not have enough for bus tickets back ,if we used the money for a hotel.

I was frantic! I just wanted to get back the next day. We would have to stay in the bus station. We walked around for awhile,looked around Greece and did all we could to stay busy,not thinking of time. It is interesting how time moves so slowly,when you need it to go fast. When one is happy then time moves to fast ,when one wants it to move slowly. The day seemed to be endless. I was stressed out having to be out in the open,being the private person I am.

We sat in the train station as long as we could. We all were becoming tired. I had hoped that the train station might be open all night ,and that we could just stay there. I could not speak Greek and no one at the station seemed to know any English. There were no signs in English at all—only Greek. It was a difficult language and there was no way to decipher. It was just too complex a language. At 9:00 the cleaners were cleaning up and then I could tell the place was going to close.

It was dark and scary outside ,but there was nothing I could do . I had to make sure we had enough money to get our tickets back to Turkey. We sat in the back of the bus station hoping nobody would see us. I did not even have a weapon,gun or knife on me to protect us if I needed to. I should have had a weapon,having two children to protect. But I could not even protect them at home ,from the most violent person of all —my abusive husband.

We tried reaching people we knew back in our home country. A friend did try to pay for a hotel on her credit card,but to no avail;they said they could not take her credit card number for some reason. It just would not go through. Nobody at the hotel understood English.

There was a truck driver from Bulgaria who noticed us,and told us he could help us. He could drive us back to Turkey and we could stay in his truck for the night. We were desperate and often I still did not follow my instincts and intuition at that time. We called Yavuz. He talked to the truck driver,and said he sounded okay,and that we should stay in his truck and get a ride back home. I told him it was to risky. He just said to me”You decide,but if I were you, I would go with him so your not out all night.

My younger daughter kept saying ”lets go with him and get some rest”. There I was not following my intuition again. We started to walk with the driver to his truck. But then I got a horrible flash in my mind of him raping my daughters and myself and trafficking us all. I told my daughters ” we cant go”. W e all started running away from this man as fast as we could go ,back towards the bus station and into the city square,then down many city streets,until we were in the middle of the city.

The man yelled at us to come back:but we kept running until I felt we were far enough away from him and he was not in sight. We were all out of breath. Why did you do that Mom, said my youngest daughter. We could have at least had warm place to sleep. I told her I had a foreboding and dangerous intuitive sense about him. We would have been raped and trafficked and I think he wanted you ,I said to the girls. My younger daughter said she was scared, and was glad we ran away. We were all out of breath and found a park bench and sat there for a couple of hours….but the time seemed to go so slowly.

He had ran after us,but we got away. I thought to myself that I knew my husband did not care about us at all. He had hoped on some subconscious level that we would disappear and be hurt. He was not protective at all over us, and I think he thought we were ignorant and naive enough to go stay in that truck drivers van. He had hoped he would have cleansed his hands of us:as he couldn’t handle being a partner and stepdad. But most of all he had a sadistic nature and wanted to see us suffer. I would see the sadistic glare in his eyes often when he hurt us. It was complicated because he also gave us love on an intermittent basis. I was conditioned and so were the kids. But I didn’t realize it then ,but I had been conditioned my whole life to accept love in that way never constant but intermittently thrown in between bouts of severe abuse.

That was a moment when I could not stay in denial;the truth flashed before me of his utter callousness and lack of feeling for us. I listened to my instincts and we ran away;if only I had been doing that my whole life we would not be in that horrible predicament.

We sat on a park bench trying to stay warm. It was Spring time ,but still it was very cold at night,and the temperatures went down. We did not have the warmest jackets as well. We did not bring much on our short trip. We decided to take a walk for awhile . We were then stopped by the Greek Police. He spoke a little bit of English, but not much. He thought we were illegal foreigners walking around the country. I understood as it looked odd that a woman and her children would be out walking the streets late at night.

He took us into the station and held us there and took our passports to make sure we were American citizens. I was feeling like I would have a panic attack. My heart was pounding with fear. I had always had a fear of police and fear of being locked up in a cell with no power and control. I had a terrible fear of being locked in small places and was terribly claustrophobic. My mind went to the worst thing that could happen to us….as well as the thought of a corrupt police officer raping my daughters and myself. We just sat there waiting for awhile.I tried to stay calm for the girls and tell them it would be okay when he found out our passports were legitimate.

He came out and asked us why we were in Greece. I explained we realized we did not have enough money for a hotel and we were leaving for Turkey the next day. He told us we could leave and handed us back our passports. I tried to ask him if there was an all night restaurant that we could go to,but he did not understand English very well and so I did not understand what he said.

We headed back out to the park bench. We were all shivering an cold. My younger daughter was crying:she was very sensitive to cold and pain. It was horrible we were in that predicament , and exposed my children to that kind of life. The night went slower then ever, and felt like the time was endless. People would pass by us looking at us as if we were the lowest creatures of the earth. Then a man drove by asking if we were okay. I was very leery of him thinking he was another predator. He said there was a bus station close that was open all night. we could follow his car there. I told him I would not get in his car. My instincts told me it was safe and okay.

We thanked him and stayed in the situation. It felt good to be warm again. We got some tea and snacks. I tried to stay awake but it was hard . It was almost 5 in the morning. The girls laid their heads down on the table and tried to sleep.

When it was becoming lighter and sunrise ascended upon us we starting walking back to the bus station. We were all exhausted and nervous. It opened early and we went in and sat down. I was thinking a lot about the dark night behind us and how my husband truly didn’t care about us. I tried to push the thoughts out of my head,but I knew he hoped we would have been kidnapped. He truly was a sadist. Sadists are every day normal people that one suspect. They are- wolves in sheep’s clothing.

But the truth is Islam promotes violence in families. Islam creates abused children, that often turn into abusers as adults. Parents are allowed to beat their children, if they don’t pray at age 7. Rape is allowed in marriage and a woman has no right to refuse her husband sexually;she has no rights to her body -no volition over her own person-hood.

Often Muslims are fatalistic ,because they are taught that everything is destiny:even rape and murder and horrible abuse. Often Muslims have a negligent attitude towards others. If everything is up to their God Allah- then everything is predestined and no matter what they do it wont make any difference. They often are not protective of one another. This was the case with my husband as well as him being narcissistic and sadistic. I also had some Muslim friends tell me that sometimes:even homelessness is a test from Allah. It is a perfect excuse for them to rid their hands of helping people closest to them:if it all is Allah’s destiny .

Next week : Trip back To Turkey -Descent into Islam

Descent into Islam:Traveling to Greece

Life continued on a down-ward path. We were all just surviving. Spring came and the girls came home ,on Spring vacation. It was time to travel to Greece for the renewal of their visas. I had obtained a residence visa, that lasted for 6 months. I was able to obtain one, because I was married and so allowed to stay in the country on a regular residence visa that needed to be renewed every 6 months to a year. It was difficult to obtain because the bureaucracy, in an Islamic country is terrible. After experiencing the bureaucracy there-the US seemed like, a piece of cake .

The girls were home for a couple of weeks. We needed to make the trip to Greece,to renew the girl’s regular tourist visas. I had tried several times to get them permanent visas,but was unable to get them,because we needed permission from their biological father. He had been out of our lives for years,had also been abusive,and I was leery of having to contact him for that. I had many documents from professionals with evidence showing that their bio – dad had been abusive,but that did not matter under Turkish law. Even though Turkey was a secular country, Islamic precepts and laws were often followed. The male and father figure was seen and viewed as- Superior to women. Domestic abuse was not taken seriously. Women were still very oppressed,compared to Western Nations. There was prolific amounts of domestic violence in Turkey.

Even though I had legal documents showing that my children’s father had been abusive,and I had Professionals backing me up,it did not matter in the Turkish culture. Even if Turkey was not a Sharia state,the people and the laws were heavily influenced by Islam. Abuse of women was not taken seriously,and the father no matter how abusive- still had more rights over his children, then the mother. In Islam, children are able to stay with their mother’s until the age of 6 years old, if there is a divorce. But after 6 years old the father has complete custody and power over his children . Even if Muslims believe that ”Paradise lies under the foot of the mother”, they are given very minimal rights in Islam. They use their power over children ,because they are often so demeaned in Islam. But the mans rights are paramount, and above the mother’s rights over her children.

The reasons for this law are: that women are only valued as caretakers and valued for the the work of drudgery and care-taking tasks of the child and ,often the more mundane tasks that come with being a parent. It’s not that these general tasks that mothers do don’t have value; they are,but women are not regarded as intelligent,as men and so after the age of 6 ,under Sharia law there value to children is seen as less significant. The children do not need as much care as they grow older,and therefore the father has full rights to his children. Basic care-taking and the more mundane tasks of mothering is seen as the work of women in Islam,and not of men. Men are viewed as being more intelligent in Islam then women. In Islam men have a degree above women in Islam,not just physically but intellectually. The following verse from the Quran states:that men are a degree above women,and therefore superior to them in Islam. The hadith states that women are deficient in intelligence;it is why women are treated with such low status in Islam and not even able to be independent of a man,without a male guardian.

Sahih International

Divorced women remain in waiting for three periods, and it is not lawful for them to conceal what Allah has created in their wombs if they believe in Allah and the Last Day. And their husbands have more right to take them back in this [period] if they want reconciliation. And due to the wives is similar to what is expected of them, according to what is reasonable. But the men have a degree over them [in responsibility and authority]. And Allah is Exalted in Might and Wise. (Surah Al Baqarah-2-228)

Sahih Bukhari

Sahih Bukhari Volume 001, Book 006, Hadith Number 301.

Narated By Abu Said Al-Khudri : Once Allah’s Apostle went out to the Musalla (to offer the prayer) o ‘Id-al-Adha or Al-Fitr prayer. Then he passed by the women and said, “O women! Give alms, as I have seen that the majority of the dwellers of Hell-fire were you (women).” They asked, “Why is it so, O Allah’s Apostle ?” He replied, “You curse frequently and are ungrateful to your husbands. I have not seen anyone more deficient in intelligence and religion than you. A cautious sensible man could be led astray by some of you.” The women asked, “O Allah’s Apostle! What is deficient in our intelligence and religion?” He said, “Is not the evidence of two women equal to the witness of one man?” They replied in the affirmative. He said, “This is the deficiency in her intelligence. Isn’t it true that a woman can neither pray nor fast during her menses?” The women replied in the affirmative. He said, “This is the deficiency in her religion.” (Hadith -001-Book-Hadith-301. (Sahih Bukhari).

Although Muslim apologists would say women are respected and this is not the case,it is clear how the Quran disregards them, and disregards them in all aspects of life,including their intelligence. One just needs to read the Quran and study the hadith to see the clear evidence.

A Muslim friend of mind told me a horrific story of how her mother in-law had her 6 year old daughter taken from her ,when the girl was only 6 or 7 years old. They had lived in an Islamic country. It had traumatized both her and her child . The daughter was never able to continue seeing her mother, and the bond between them was broken. The father did not allow the child to have visits and continue a relationship with her mother. The child was mothered, by his new wife. The effects of this last forever and this mother was traumatized for life,and so was this girl. It is one reason that made me evaluate Islam through further in -depth study. When she told me this story, I begin to have serious questions in my mind:this religion was very cruel and in- humane. There is clear evidence in the absurd and horrific- Hadiths -sayings of the Prophet Muhammad and in the Sharia laws.

As a woman I was perceived , as not being as valuable as a man, within the Turkish culture and to the Police who issued residence visas. They truly were, aspiring to Islamic laws as a country that is mostly Muslim they carried within them Islamic values, even if the laws were secular. Males hold all the power ; it did not matter that my girl’s was a a serious alcoholic and both physically and emotionally abusive, and I had court documents and witnesses to prove it. In Islam the mother is only seen a conduit to bring children into the world;she is of little value;the children are seen as the property of the father.

Even though the laws are often corrupt when it comes to child custody in America: the laws do protect women, and the system is changing however, imperfect it is. In Sharia law the man is seen as superior and above woman. The woman is never a free person,but always dependent on a male guardian. Therefore the children are seen as dependents of the father,and not the mother.

Often times a friend back in America would say to me that, ”you know this has nothing to do with Islam”. It was culture, he would say-the Turkish culture and not Islam. But Islam is embedded in the culture of Turkey. Most of the population of Turkey is Muslim. Mosques are ubiquitous and every where. One hears the call to prayer every day,and five times a day. Here he was a Jewish man,and a leftist- standing up for Islam. He was ignorant of the true nature of Islam and that domestic abuse is condoned in this ideology. A culture is made up of the tenants of the religious views ,within that culture. There is no real separation between culture and religion,even in Turkey,which is not controlled by Sharia laws. Western cultures separate church from state-and it is the only way to maintain a free society.

Women were degraded in Turkey. When we visited neighbors,a woman was screaming, protesting that she did not want male roommates staying with her and her family. But she was patronized and belittled upon by everyone,even other women. Her rights to privacy were not considered. It was awful to hear her screams;but at least she still had a fighting spirit,and was fighting for her rights. I knew that could happen to me because my husband often suggested we live with his mother,or his brothers. I knew I could not live like that;I valued my privacy too much,which is a Western value.

I tried to find my girls dad,but I was unable to and worried about it. He was never cooperative but hostile,and I knew he would not give them permission to stay. I had tried to protect them from him,and so we gave up, realizing it, would be harmful. We should have left and gone back to America then ; but being Muslim my priorities were confused and all wrong. I had no clarity in my thinking at that time,and I was only surviving from day to day. It seemed my life was successive moves from one abusive situation to another.

We had made the trip to Greece a couple of times before ,and we were use to it. We had to go every few months as the visas ,only lasted for a short time. But it was difficult coming up with the money we needed because we needed Euros,instead of Turkish money or U.S dollars. It was not an easy trip to have to make every few months. The girls were excited;because it was an adventure for them,and they were able to take a break from their usual dual routine. They also got away from Yavuz ; although at that point they were spending most of their time in the Islamic girls school.

We packed a full small bags,and traveled lightly. The girls always wanted to bring more toys and things. My younger daughter took her large stuffed animal,that she insisted on taking with her for security. I had a bad intuitive sense and foreboding about the trip this time. It is the intuitive sense I get often ,but sadly never listened to it. I would not be in Turkey, had I listened to that wise intuitive fear and sense. But there we were. Yavuz escorted us to the bus station,where we would catch our bus to Andropolis, Greece.

Yavuz was telling us ,to ask the guard at the border to allow us to turn around and come back,instead of having to spend the night in Greece. He was going to write a note for us,explaining it would be a hardship for us to have to stay there. I told him that was risky ,because we weren’t suppose to be forward,about just going there for visas. He said ”Oh the guards know already people are going there for visas. They are not stupid”. I told him I did not want to take that chance. He just yelled at me,and never took my opinions about anything seriously.

Then the girls tried to stop him from writing the note. I told him to write it. I was always nervous about traveling there,not knowing if things would work out ,and whether we would be able to find a hotel room,as well as the problems that come with the language barrier. But they wanted the adventure of being able to stay in a different place for a day. They were children and had a sense of adventure and fun. I only thought of the risks and felt constricted and anxious from within. Yavuz became angry and said”I hope you all sleep on the streets”.I thought we had enough money in Euros to be okay,but I was still concerned.

I had a sense of doom as we boarded the bus and were on our way to Andropolis,the closest Greek town to stay in. The girls were in good spirits though. It was worth anything to them to get some freedom for a day or two. My nerves were frayed from all the abuse and my psychological as well as physical energy depleted. I was easily stirred up and anxious. I wasn’t ready for what was to come next during our journey in Greece.

By Raquella Levin Coming Next- Trip to Greece: Part 2

Descent into Islam : Life in Peril-2

After the Winter Break the girls went back to the Islamic school and remained there,until the summer. They continued to learn the Quran and they became skilled readers and reciters, of the Quranic Arabic. There were different programs the school put on , where the girls recited and showed their progress in Quran.

Our friend and mentor left the school ,as soon as the girls became accustomed to the school ,and had adjusted. The girls were sad as they missed their friend ,but they adjusted to living with the other girls and the Islamic teachers.

Looking back on my life with my Ex- husband,I can see how mundane that existence was. But at that time, I did not perceive my life clearly and through the right lens. I thought I was lucky to be a Muslim and live in and among the Umah-the Muslim people, in an Islamic environment. Miryem would often say how honored we were by Allah to come live in Turkey, and to study and learn about Islam. My adopted Muslim Auntie, often said we were saved,and what a blessing it was that we, as American converts ,had embraced Islam. She often told me that we had a chance at paradise,and we would not burn in hell. Many of the Muslim women would emphasize to us: that we were free from our bad and degraded life as Americans. She would often talk about the sins and depravity of the American culture,through her own own world- view. She would say you ”are a new woman with a new life and your Turkish and Muslim now”.

I became fearful of going back to my home country despite our terrible circumstances, with my abusive husband. Many converts feel they can live as Muslims in free western societies. Many others feel as I felt: that they could not. The truth is :that Islam can’t reconcile itself to Western ways of life. The two can not be reconciled, and are completely incompatible and different. I think I truly understood this and what being a Muslim meant ,after reading the Islamic scriptures and the sayings of the Prophet, and after much study. I knew other Muslim women who also left their free cultures, to make the hijrah and venture to Muslim countries. Hijrah means leaving one’s culture to go live in an Islamic culture and live according to Islam. Many lived horrendous lives in Muslim countries,just as I had and they experienced abuse by their new husbands and in-laws. Some escaped but some women I have known , never got out.

I was trapped in my mindset- within Islam,a cult mindset. I would usually get myself out of abuse;I had in other circumstances. I was so worried about having to go back to a Western country, in that mind set, that I thought the sacrifice of being abused was better and so I put up with it. It is terrifying to think of the woman I became ,back then and who I was. That mindset is petrifying to think about,and I am grateful, I have a free mind today and that I see myself and life clearly not clouded in the ” darkness that is Islam”.

In Islam there is a- us and them mentality-the Believer and the Non Believer. Slowly one gets induced into this cult and isolated within Muslim Community. I had often question the Islamic teachings, even from the beginning of my conversion. But one wants to believe one has found the truth. I felt as if I had invested so much by traveling to a foreign land, living there and adhering to the precepts of the religion. But something within me would wonder about the beliefs ,because some of them were so absurd. If only I had listened to my intuition- it could have saved me ten years of misery and wasting my life,when I could have been succeeding in my career ,and gaining independence and self sufficiency for myself and my family. But one can never change the past;I can only learn from it and create awareness among others;hopefully preventing others from converting and therefore averting undue misery and suffering of other women and their children.

Miryem would tell us that Jews were considered a belligerent and disobedient people in Islam. She would say they would be punished by Allah, and that it says so in the Quran,unless they saved themselves and converted to Islam. She explained to us that only Muslims would enter the (paradise) after-life,and that only adherents of Islam were worthy of love,as well as love from Allah and his Prophet Muhammad. My daughter had a difficult time with these teachings and she told Miryem ,they could not be true about the Jewish people. She fought with her about it, to no avail. Her mentor insisted that the Jewish people caused disruption within societies, and were a deviant people because they had not followed Islam in the past, and accepted it as the one and true religion of the world.

I was appalled that Native American Indians would not be accepted by Allah as well, and that according to Islam they also would not be accepted into paradise. They had such a sound and profound spirituality, and I could not imagine a God that would reject a people who adhere to a peaceful spirituality and care for their Native Communities. She explained that there were exceptions, if people had never heard of Islam and were ignorant about this ideology and the Quran. She said because they were unaware of Islam they would not be judged. But all those who have heard of Islam and the Quran would be condemned ,which was most people in the world.

But I continued to make excuses for the incongruous nature of Islam. I was becoming more aware of this ideology , by knowing other Muslims in the community and through studying the Quran and the Hadith-the sayings of the Prophet Muhammad. I thought possibly that Miryem had just followed a stricter form of Islam,or maybe she was ignorant as well. But slowly I came to understand what she said was the truth,and other Muslims believed the same things as well, and talked negatively about Jews. It was difficult for my daughter,because I had raised them in the Jewish faith. My daughter was very sensitive to this and it hurt her.

Yavuz became increasingly violent and would beat us often, when the girls came back from the school. His beatings became more brutal. He would often use knives to scare us and chase us around the house when we did not do what he wanted. He continued to belittle me as well, often calling me stupid and telling me I did not even know the basics of cooking or cleaning a home. My self esteem plummeted a a result of the continued abuse. I look at it as a repetition of my own abusive and oppressive childhood. Islam is a horrible( Oppressive Ideology),and often women who were abused- repeat abusive patterns and life styles.

I could not see clearly to save my daughters and myself from my husbands abusiveness. I did not feel I was worth protecting and fell deeper into a dark abyss,incapable of seeing the light. The girls stayed away, at the school longer to avoid Yavus, throughout the winter months.

By Raquella Levin

Next -Our visit to Greece

Music and Instruments are Forbidden in Islam:Creativity Banned

When I first converted to Islam, I did not realize the extent to which this Ideology forbid everything that is beautiful, and that makes our lives so much more meaningful and exquisite. Nothing can fulfill us the way creativity and the many Art forms do. I feel grateful I was able to see the truth and the light and leave Islam,because of my love for music, musical instruments,creativity and all the different Arts.

Many people convert to Islam not understanding the Ideology very well,and not having studied it thoroughly , or for a long period of time ,before making the enormous decision of converting to Islam. There are so many laws to know and understand. I read the Quran and some of the hadith,before converting. I was also pressured into converting:often times Muslims will try to persuade people to convert quickly,because they are taught that if a person dies as as a Kafir(Non Muslim), then that person will go to hell fire and not enter Paradise(the after life). The after life is deemed the most important tenant and teaching of Islam. So many people often accept Islam prematurely , before they understand the full scale of what the Ideology entails.

When I first was studying Islam,about 11 years ago,I thought music was allowed. The person that had been teaching me about Islam had told me about a a singer:Sami Yusuf ,who is known for his many songs about Islam. I listened to them and thought they were beautiful; I came to know about other Muslim Musicians such as: Zain Bhikha and others. I saw Islam through my own kaleidoscope,in which Islam included the beauty of Music and Art within its framework of teaching. But this was false and not the real Islam.

Music is prohibited in Islam. These singers, such as Sami Yusuf are seen as heretics within the real Islamic Ideology. They are looked down upon and viewed as bringing ‘fitna’ (prohibitions) to the believers of Islam. As a newcomer to this ideology, I had no idea that music,and musical instruments were prohibited. I liked Sami Yusuf’s music ,and because I am a musical person ,his music created a feeling in me ,in which I envisioned Islam as a compassionate and beautiful religion. He had inscribed on his albums that”Allah Loves Beauty”. But this is completely false and invalid. If anything is true, it is that the ”Islamic Allah” deplores beauty and prohibits beauty of any kind”.

The longer I lived as a Muslim and the more I studied,I realized that music was forbidden. I had played a guitar when I was younger, and loved singing and music as a child. It was difficult to not be able to enjoy music that I loved. There are stories of Muslims breaking instruments,to stop people from playing music. The only instrument that is allowed is a ”daff”,which is a small drum. No stringed instruments are allowed ,or other instruments; they are portrayed as inducing the evil passions in men and women;instruments are viewed as resembling and being on par with intoxicants such as Alcohol and drugs.

Because I had stopped playing guitar at the time I converted,it was not as difficult for me at that time, not to be able to play my instrument. I had given up on playing when I was younger because my self confidence and self efficacy was low at that time. I always wanted to play as a child ,but because there was so much abuse,my parents also did not care about my creativity and my love for guitar. They did not help me progress in music. But I did play for a long time as a young woman, until I gave up for a long time sadly.

What I feel I really needed, instead of converting to Islam was to express my creativity ,and pick up my instrument again and play. But I was unaware at the time, of how bogged down I had felt, by not fulfilling my creative needs at the time. I have always loved writing and musical instruments. Being in college,as well as raising two young children took most of my time, and I was burnt out and tired a lot of the time. It is very important for one to be in tune with oneself ,or one can lose sight of what is truly important,and what is meaningful to oneself.

Through studying Islam, the longer I was a Muslim ,I began to understand and learn all about the many prohibitions in Islam, and what was prescribed as well as what was prohibited. Many activities or expression of self, that invigorates life and happiness within people is often prohibited ,even though these expressions of humanity are not harmful in anyway ,and yet Art and Music are compared to drugs,alcohol and prostitution.

What disturbed me most was how, Woman Musicians were perceived as being ”the worst of humanity”. When the world becomes full of Women Musicians, Sheiks and Religious leaders often preach that this means, the end times are here ;the world will end soon but before it does: Islam will be supreme and most people will become Muslims. Women are not allowed to display themselves in public,let alone sing, or become a skilled Musician. There are renowned Scholars of Islam who pronounce women Musicians ,as evil and corrupt causing (Fitna). Fitna means: corruption and temptation to commit the forbidden sins in Islam.

I once listened to a popular Muslim teacher,give a lecture on music. He explained that the female voice causes temptation and therefore is haram( forbidden). He explained that the only person a woman can sing for is her husband. He was mocking women and their abilities to be talented musicians, as well as mocking a woman’s natural intelligence. He himself had once been a Musician,and was dissuaded from music, when he came back to Islam and adhered to the religion. It is such a shame that creativity is interpreted as a conduit for evil, through the Islamic Kaleidoscope. Many Art forms are viewed as being the cause of corruption in the world.

This not an ‘Extremist or radica’l interpretation of Islam,as some Apologists would profess. There is only one Islam:the laws in the Quran and Hadith are very clear. Some Muslims might say they can play Instruments,and its allowed. But they are often looked at as outcasts and heretics ,not adhering to the religion of Islam properly. They are looked down upon, and women have no place as Musicians and singers in Islamic countries; they would be banned,such as in Saudi Arabia and Iran. They could be arrested for playing music,and instruments publicly.

Women have come so far in the Music Business in Western societies. When I was younger and playing guitar,it was difficult for women to be taken seriously as Musicians,but there were women Musicians. They were mostly accepted as singers,but not as skilled Musicians. The industry was run by men and men took advantage of women often. I had friends that were musicians and guitarists; they had to work extra hard to be accepted and valued for their talent ,among the male Musicians that ruled music. It has changed so much through the years and women have made great strides in music,and there have been some great women Musicians who have been successful in Music.

But if Islam becomes implemented and accepted in our Free cultures ,it could take us back to the medieval dark ages for women… the instrumental rights that women have fought for to get recognition and progress in both music and the Arts could be lost if Islam is allowed to progress within our cultures. Music has healed me in my life,and I feel happy I can be creative through my guitar and singing. Freedom of creativity and expression,and especially women’s rights to creativity, can never be taken for granted and must always be protected from any ideology that seeks to dismantle it .