Sacrificing your life

I passed Yeni Valide Cami today at prayer time. The mosque was full of people, the imam was giving his sermon. I heard what state religion can do – they don’t call it state religion here, but in fact the ministry for religious affairs trains all the imams and tells them every week what to focus on in their Friday sermon. This time, someone decided that sacrificing your life for the motherland needed some attention. Very topical of course, now that the government has been threatening for weeks to attack PKKcamps across the boarder in northern Iraq. How beautiful it is, said the imam, to die for your country. Many men already have done so in Turkey’s rich and glorious history, and what an honour to follow in their footsteps.
Positive thinker that I am, I thought that maybe it was meant as a comfort for parents or wives who lost their sons or husbands in the army . But then again, there are other ways to comfort people who have lost a loved one. Especially in a mosque, I would say. Because somehow the sermon didn’t sound like a message from God…

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