By Sabina Jafarova Vagifgizi
One American student studying aboard in Istanbul said she had no cause of concern with Islam until her experiences in Turkey. While at first she was willing to participate in speaking out, her parents warned against it and she withdrew her statement.
“I actually have a very interesting experience,” said the American student. “When I was in America I did not have any prejudices or problems with Islam – when I came to Turkey, I experienced a few things that have caused me to be pretty doubtful and unhappy with Islam.”
Most pointedly was the prejudice she experienced from Alevites she encountered in the area, who do not commonly give favor to Americans. Alevites are a large ethno-religious minority population of Shiite Muslims in Turkey who advocate for the secular and populist ideals set forth by Ataturk Kemal in the early 20th Century.
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