Daily Mail wants Muslim women …

I got a message through a new Muslims’ mailing list I’m on about the Daily Mail’s call for stories about western women converting to Islam. The catch, according to my source, is that they want to publish the story tomorrow! I would advise any sister who gets an appeal like this (from “Diana Atten-something” - Attenborough perhaps?) to hit the delete button pretty quickly.

The Daily Mail does not have a history of publishing balanced reports about Islam. Or, for that matter, about women in general, despite its overwhelmingly female readership and it’s “Femail” section. The paper was sued by the actress Diana Rigg a few years ago for printing what Rigg, and the court, considered defamatory. I heard Rigg interviewed on Radio 4 and the comment was made about how bitchy the women at these papers are to other women.

This appeal is obviously an attempt to drum up a sensational “human interest” story. A few years back they printed a lengthy article called “My Daughter Was Seduced By Islam”, in which a young woman from a very unhappy family background converted to Islam, got married, had children, and was by all accounts very happy - but her mother wasn’t. I thought the pictures spoke a thousand words - the lady was dressed in rather nice clothes (not the dowdy ones her mother accused her of wearing) and looked radiant and happy, while her mother and sister looked miserable.

One might also ask why they specifically want to talk to women. Could it be that they still want to know why a woman might convert to a religion which supposedly suppresses them - when, in fact, pages and pages have been written about (and by) women who convert to Islam since at least the mid-1980s?

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