Woman Details Dramatic Encounter with Radical Islam
By LISA BAUER - RELIGION NEWS SERVICE AND FREE INQUIRY MAGAZINE
Added: Fri, 18 Sep 2009 23:00:00 UTC
Amherst, N.Y. (Sept. 18, 2009)--The lure of Islam proved to be a tragic attraction for one young American woman. In a groundbreaking exposÃ© of religious conversion and its aftershocks, the October-November issue of Free Inquiry magazine details--in her own words--Lisa Bauer's downward spiral from her intellectual interest in Islam to full conversion, followed by years of faith-justified mental and sexual abuse at the hand of her trusted imam.
"What Bauer experienced went beyond the subjugation of countless Muslim women under Shariah law," said Free Inquiry editor Tom Flynn.
Famed biologist and best-selling author Richard Dawkins, who mentored Bauer during her recovery, was so impressed and moved by her courage in the face of adversity that he brought her story to the attention of the editors of Free Inquiry. "I suggested that she write an account of her experience, perhaps eventually at book length, but first...as a series of three articles in Free Inquiry," wrote Dawkins in his introduction to Bauer's essay.
Part I - The Subversion of Lisa Bauer
An introduction by
Religions puzzle me with their power to subvert otherwise intelligent minds and turn them in directions that an outside observer (and under normal circumstances, the subverted mind itself) would instantly recognize as ridiculous. Francis Collins is an excellent scientist whose success in running the huge organization that was the official American Human Genome Project demonstrates his cogent grasp of how the real world works. Suppose,now, that a candidate for an important and responsible job in Collinsâs organization announced at his interview that he liked to put a sprig of mistletoe in his hair and dance around a fairy ring in order to appease the forest sprites. Collins would immediately show him the door with a polite âDonât call usâ and turn hastily to the next candidate. Yet what Collins himself believes—virgin mothers and the risen Jesus and frozen Trinitarian waterfalls is just as thoroughly divorced from reality and sense. The point is that Collins himself would recognize this clearly but for the subversive power of religion.
That power to impose ridiculous beliefs on otherwise intelligent and sensible people is a fascinating phenomenon. It is vitally important that we understand it, but itâs hard for us to appreciate its full weirdness when we live in a culture where the ridiculous beliefs concerned are deeply embedded. In America, Christianity and Judaism are so ubiquitous and familiar that we tend to overlook
absurdities that an objective observer— the proverbial Martian, say—would have no trouble spotting. Similarly, it is hard for citizens of Iran or Afghanistan to notice the absurdities of Islam; it is too familiar, part of the default background of their culture.
Continue Richard Dawkins Introduction and to the pdf of Part I in Free Inquiry magazine of "An American Womanâs Muslim Journey PART 1" by Lisa Bauer
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