Friday, January 20, 2012
BBC Podcast: Muslim White Female Part 1
After 9/11, many Muslims in the US and Britain experienced an upsurge of suspicion and hostility from people around them. At the same time, paradoxically perhaps, the number of white converts to Islam began to rise. In Britain, their number has doubled in the last ten years -- and nearly two-thirds of the newcomers are women. In this programme, Miriam O'Reilly meets women who have chosen to embrace Islam for very different reasons -- among them Lauren Booth, sister-in-law to Britain's former Prime Minister, Tony Blair; and Myriam Francois Cerrah, a successful child actress who appeared in "Sense and Sensibility" alongside Emma Thompson and gave up her dreams of Hollywood when she found Islam. We hear what drew them to a faith that exposed them to negative reactions after 9/11, and - in the eyes of their non-Muslim sisters -- has forced them to give up much of their personal freedom.