Skip to comments.Australia's Plucky Blond Jihadi ('the Elizabeth Taylor of the jihad')
Posted on 08/09/2009 12:41:55 AM PDT by nickcarraway
The Mother of Mohammed by Sally Neighbour
Reviewed by David Wilson
What drives a blonde Australian beach bunny to go on jihad? That extraordinary question serves as the premise for one of the most absorbing non-fiction titles to surface this year.
The Mother of Mohammed (MUP) by Australian journalist Sally Neighbour, 48, digs into the background of the beach bunny in question, Rabiah - born Robyn - Hutchinson, with flair, wit and candor. This book pulls no punches.
"She was a scrawny, pale-skinned runt, with a shock of frizzy white-blonde hair and an eye-patch she wore from the age of two to correct a severe astigmatism," Neighbour writes. "What she
lacked in physical stature she made up for in sheer pluck, as she stumbled through the bush behind her brother like a pint-sized pirate, game for almost anything," she adds, before proceeding to document her subject's slide into radical politics and the surreal exoticism of war-torn Afghanistan.
Rabiah spent four years working as a doctor in a mujahideen hospital and orphanage on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border during the Afghan jihad in the early 1990s. She later returned to Afghanistan under the Taliban and married a leading al-Qaeda ideologue and member of Osama bin Laden's inner circle. Her fellow jihadis knew her as "Umm Mohammed", meaning the mother of Mohammed. She has been described by a former US Central Intelligence Agency agent as "the Elizabeth Taylor of the jihad".
(Excerpt) Read more at atimes.com ...
Is that one of the new villains from Stargate Universe? First look!
Actually she has been.. a lot. She's not called Elizabeth Taylor of the jihad for nothing.
“the sun will rise in the west” bump
Am I first? Guilty.
The author (Neighbour) is an idiot:
“During her exhaustive investigation of Islamic culture, Neighbour herself became less prone to judge.
Her view toward people that the West sees as Islamic extremists and thus fears and loathes has changed. “I think words like ‘extremist’ are bandied around too readily,” she says, suggesting that “extreme” does not necessarily mean “dangerous”.
As applies to Rabiah, it is possible for someone to have extreme religious or political beliefs, without either wanting to force them on others or posing a threat to people who do not share them.
“Rabiah would like to live in an Islamic state. However, she doesn’t think Australia should be one, or that anyone else should have to live in one unless they want to.”
Australia should, it seems, learn to tolerate others it sees as extreme - like the people who want to build an Islamic school in Camden, New South Wales - and realize that their beliefs, extreme or otherwise, pose no threat.
Like many Australians, Neighbour once reacted with horror when she saw a woman in what she called a burqa although the black Islamic face veil worn by Salafist women in Australia is actually called a niqab (the burqa is the Afghan all-in-one gown that covers the face).
Neighbour once saw the veil as a symbol of oppression and ignorance and tyranny. But she has discovered that women who wear the veil are usually “tough, independent, feisty, funny and very strong - they have to be to put up with the abuse they cop”.
Now, when Neighbour sees a veil, she just registers a garment that happens to signify a particular religious belief. “And I know that behind it there is a woman - just like me.”
Wow that took longer than I expected. My first thoughts too.