Dear Ms Hirsi,
I don’t know you. You don’t know me either. However, in today’s world of internet and what not, it’s hard not to know of you.
Let me start this off by saying that I have not read any of your books. Just a lot of reviews and interviews. I don’t know if that gives me enough authority to respond to you. But ever since I was asked about my opinion on your thoughts few weeks back you have been on my mind. I feel that I owe myself and many others like me an answer.
But first let me tell you a bit about myself.
I am a Muslim woman by birth.
By that I mean that I was born into a Muslim family. And my parents like all other Muslim parents made sure that I was educated in the matters of my religion. And as you know, Islam is a religion that is entrenched in the culture. So I was raised in an Islamic environment as well. I suspect this is more or less the kind of upbringing that you went through while you were living in Kenya
Second I’m a Muslim woman by choice.
This is the most vital part of my letter. According to what I’ve read, you are fighting against Islam and it’s subjugation of women. How if women in Islam had a choice she wouldn’t choose a life of cover up and modesty. Well I’m here to tell you that I made a choice. I’m not going to pretend that I am perfect in my religion. But I choose to be a Muslim every single day. And guess what Ms. Hirsi, I am not alone. My cousin used to be what you would call a “westernized” woman. One day she changed her life. And I envy the kind of contentment she got. She made her choice. And there are thousands even millions of women all over the world who make this choice.
The aim of this letter is not to try to paint perfection in the way matters of my religion are handled. All I’m saying is that women like me are tired of being constantly portrayed as weak and brainwashed with no sense of self-worth. We are proud of who we are.
So, Ms. Hirsi, you want us to let you live your choice? Then please allow us ours!